The northern chekpoints: the routine of the occupation is the routine of life

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Tami Ritov (photos), Neta Golan (reporting)

North, 18.05.2023 Afternoon


Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham


Only the screen for the navigation system recognizes the green line.

15:20 – We drove past Barta’a Checkpoint and the parking lots that were still crowded.   The screen of the navigation system in the car recognizes the green line a lot more than most Israelis.  On the way to the village of Emricha the signs change from Hebrew to Arabic transliterated into English that point to the road to Emricha.


15:30 – Yaabed – Dotan Checkpoint

It appeared that the checkpoint was not manned. Traffic was flowing freely, and most of it was in the direction of Jenin   and Yaabed.  When we turned towards Hermesh the navigation screen showed “Tarik Kafin” (Kafin Road) in English.


15:45 – Hermesh Checkpoint

The watchtower was abandoned and the yellow gate on the road was open.  It appeared that the checkpoint had never been here.


16:00 – Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

The huge crowded parking lots  make their surrounding areas unattractive.  Many drivers still prefer to park on the side of the road far from the checkpoint where there are no red and white markers because they are unwilling or unable to pay NIS 10 each day for parking or, of course, to pay fines for parking illegally.    People’s permits have also been revoked because of parking violations.   Drivers and passengers were gathered next to the crossing shed.    There were booths selling peanuts, cakes, and fruit under the shed.    A lot of people were returning from work in Israel and the seamline zone.  There were almost no women.  A few people were crossing in the opposite direction to the seamline zone.  Three boys were wandering about selling coffee.  The kiosk wagon was open and there was a watermelon stand outside the parking lot.  We did not hear any complaints today.  Everything was according to the bleak routine of occupation.  


16:30 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint


A policeman and policewoman from the border patrol were collecting soda cans to get refunds.  For a moment we were amazed and thought they were actually cleaning up the littered surroundings.   A few people were returning from work and an employer dropped workers off  from the “Elephant Wood Factory” which is located in Hadera and has its plant here in the Shahak Industrial zone that is in the seamline zone.  They were wearing T-shirts with the factory name on them.  Some people complained that the checkpoint had only opened at  07:45 instead of 07:00. 


16:45 A’anin Checkpoint

The checkpoint is open only on Mondays and Wednesdays, but is manned 24/7.  A man and woman soldier were surprised to see us there.   We looked at the threatening wall and the two cranes that were not working.