The Barta'a checkpoint continues to improve, but for whom?

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Hannah Heller, Neta Golan (Reporting, Photos) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

05:50 – Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side

Yellow taxis were waiting for people to cross to the seamline zone.  Our friends the seamstresses who work in Barta’a were already sitting in their transport vehicle and received us with broad smiles.  We walked down the sleeveinfo-icon to the entrance to the terminal and the relatively few people who were crossing in the other direction towards the seamline zone passed us.  Two regular windows were operating in the terminal and two new ones at the far end that operate by means of facial recognition.  The new windows have colored lights and are faster than the other biometric ones.  People like the fact that crossing is now faster and one person commented: “This is something really good.”   The operations manager of the checkpoint came up to us in a friendly manner and is amazed that we arrived so early from Haifa.  He hopes that the new faster system will allow more people to cross at Barta’a Checkpoint in the morning and agrees with us that everyone who is allowed to cross here in the afternoon should also be allowed to cross here in the morning.  The settler who runs the kiosk is also extremely interested because he will have a larger clientele, and thinks that this will happen in the next few weeks.  The occupation is becoming more elaborate and sophisticated.    


We met a person in the upper parking lot who complained that despite the fact that his home and land were on the other side of the separation barrier he now only received a permit for three months.  He had previously received permits that were valid for two years.  We referred him to the hotline for the protection of the individual.

06:30 – A’anin Checkpoint

The sun rose over the checkpoint on time, but the soldiers arrived late.  Men and women soldiers from the military police arrived at 06:40, opened the gatesinfo-icon, and called people to be checked in groups of three, then by fives, and finally everyone crossed in an orderly line.  37 men, 4 women who were happily going to visit relatives in Um a Reihan, and two tractors crossed. 

07:10 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

מA few pedestrians crossed to the seamline zone and two vehicles crossed in each direction.

07:20 – Several high school girls arrived wearing school uniforms of striped dresses and black hijab.  We left.