Northern checkpoints: Finnaly some of the garbage is beeing removed. A New settlemnt is growing.

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Marina Banai report, Rachel Tuval Photogtafer
Tow men next to a car
Hermesh: Light purple flower

14:45 – Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

We drove past the checkpoint on our way to Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint and saw that the parking lot was completely full.   At Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint there were only a few cars crossing the soldiers allowed them to pass without being checked.  There was a light rain falling that emphasized the beauty of the area.

15:00 Hermesh Checkpoint

There was traffic through the checkpoint but there were no soldiers!  We drove towards the Bedouin tent to see the new illegal settlement that had sprung up.  It appeared that the settlement had grown.  A vehicle with soldiers drove up to us and they told us that we were not allowed to be here.  When we asked whether we were in Area A or in a military zone  we were told that the soldiers didn’t know, but that they had come to protect us.  On the way back we passed a military vehicle that had a flat tire, but we didn’t manage to attract their attention and they drove into Hermesh. 

15:30 – Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

We parked the car on the side of the road.  A truck with a crane and a shovel for collecting garbage appeared from a distance next to the truck parking lot on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint.  We were amazed to see it because usually the area of the checkpoint is filled with all kinds of garbage.   We spoke with the operator who told us that he would not be able to collect all the garbage that had been thrown in the wadi (riverbed) because the truck was already full.  We were sorry that we had not asked him how often he comes to work at the checkpoint. 

    Two Palestinians approached us and asked for help in obtaining crossing permits.  We entered the checkpoint and met the three small brothers who sell coffee.  We bought coffee and sugar – coated and salty peanuts from Nablus for a few Shekels.

16:00 – We crossed Barta’a Checkpoint in the direction of the seamline zone.   No one checked us – perhaps because it was raining. 

16:10 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

Two women were standing beyond the checkpoint and waiting for a ride in the direction of the seamline zone. 

16:15 – We drove home at the end of a boring uneventful shift.  It’s preferable that it be that way.