Barta`a checkpoint: Life goes on. The important thing is to earn a living.

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Tami Rituv (photos), Neta Golan (Reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

15:15: We passed Reihan-Barta’a Checkpoint.  Since the terrorist attack near Hermesh on May 30th and the campaign in Jenin on July 5th we have not done that.  There were no cars parked by the side of the road and the large parking lot near Zabda was empty and the construction work there continues.  There were cars parked in the parking lots beneath Zabda and only a few people were returning from work at this time of day.

15:30 – Yaabed-Dotan Checkpoint

The checkpoint was being manned by paratroopers and the red and white flag of the unit was flying.  People driving in the direction of Yaabed and Jenin were not being checked but a line had formed because of cars going in the other direction that were being checked.    (See photo 709).   The traffic was being held up and people were agitated.  Almost every driver rolled down their windows and said “It’s like this all the time” or “Do something!” but we explained that we could not do anything except report the situation.  The sign at the turn to Mevo Dotan advertising education and Judea and Samaria. (523)   

15:45 – Hermesh Checkpoint

The checkpoint has been reinstated since the terrorist attack at this checkpoint in which Meir Tamari was murdered.  There was little traffic at this time of day.   Cars going in the direction of Kafin –Baka al Sharkiya Tulkarem were not being checked, on that side of the road there were positions that were not manned.    There was a temporary position on the other side of the road where cars were being checked (622).  A memorial had been set up in memory of Tamari (624). 

16:00 Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint Palestinian Side

Everything was `as usual` and many people were returning from work.    The boys were present with their thermos jugs of coffee, the trailer kiosk was open, the woman with her daughter begging at the entrance to the crossing shed, next to the peanut stand and the cake stand.  No one was complaining.  The peanut salesman said “that’s life, the important thing is to earn a living.”

People at the vehicle checkpoint asked us what we were doing in the Palestinian parking lot and requested our ID cards.

16:30 – Tura-Shaked Checkpoint

On our way to the checkpoint we joined the line of vehicles that had brought workers to the checkpoint that were now returning to Israel.  There were few people crossing.  The checkpoint was quiet and dirty and the construction on the wall that is replacing the separation fence has been halted.    We don’t know if or when it will continue.

16:40 – We drove home.  It is hot outside but it is cool in the air-conditioned car.