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Neta G., reporting, Marcia L., translation

Jalama Checkpoint Looks Like the Border Crossing.  Perhaps in the Future?

In response to the request from The Road to Recovery, I took two Palestinian mothers with two babies, each one in his/her own child safety seat, from Rambam Hospital (in Haifa ) to the Jalama Checkpoint. The children must undergo dialysis several times a week and the mothers generally travel the round trip together. They are both residents of Jenin, young and lovely, and their children are sweet; however, their conditions are sad.  We wish them health and a good life.  One of the mothers directed me in Jalama to the relatively new parking lot, which was once part of the goods or merchandise checkpoint.  Several trucks were parked in the area.  I stayed to observe the checkpoint for a while, to which we almost never go to.

13:40 – 14:20 – Jalama Checkpoint

Jalama Checkpoint is on the Green Line, on Road 60, between Yizrael junction and Jenin.  The checkpoint serves primarily as a Palestinian passage for those who have permission to work in Israel and as a passage for humanitarian incidents.  The vehicle checkpoint next to it, serves mainly as a passage back and forth for Arab-Israeli citizens, to the area under the Palestinian Authority. It is almost possible to believe that this is a border crossing.  Perhaps one day it will  be.

At this hour, agricultural workers who have already finished their work arrive in transport vehicles and private cars.  The workers get out of the vehicles, cross the old, empty parking lot, and enter the enclosed sleeveinfo-icon that leads to the terminal.  The crossing is carried out through the terminal and not beside it, as has been the custom for a long time, at Barta’a Checkpoint. Among the workers, there are also several older women, who are smiling and friendly. All of them carry bags of citrus fruit in their hands or backpacks, the fruit of their work.

The old parking lot is well cared for, the shed is clean, prayer rugs are folded on the benches.  A security guard who is not happy with my presence, asks what I am doing there and won’t let me approach the opening of the terminal.  He also makes sure I don’t photograph.

Many private cars of Arab-Israeli citizens enter the vehicle checkpoint in the direction of the West Bank and the passage is quick.