Northern Checkpoints: Routine Activity in the Breaches 

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Neta Golan (reporting) with Pierre, the driver Translation: Naomi Halsted

There was a police roadblock near Megiddo Junction, which obviously caused congestion on Route 65.


06:00 Barta’a Checkpoint and Route 611

We drove the long way round, passing West Barta’a (Israeli) and East Barta’a (Palestinian) to see if there was any police activity there. Happily, we didn’t see any police and Barta’a was sleepy at that time of the morning. A few Palestinian workers were waiting for transport on the main road of East Barta’a, and a coffee stand, falafel stand and pizzeria were already open for them. We continued to Harish and didn’t see any police there either.  

There were heaps of earth mounds all along Route 611, which the settlers had piled up so that the vehicles waiting for workers who cross over through breaches in the fence (see reports from March 21 and 22) wouldn't be able to park. Having no choice, the cars were parked dangerously on the side of the road.  Workers continued to arrive, as they do every morning, through the breach in the fence below Luxor Village and through the security road. Our law-abiding driver did not stop there and I did not have time to take pictures from a moving car.

06:30 Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint, Seamline Zone side

There’s not much traffic, particularly at this hour. There are times when there isn’t anyone at all in the lengthy covered walkway (the sleeveinfo-icon) leading from the parking lot to the checkpoint. One of the people sitting next to the eatery in the sleeve tells me that “the checkpoint is good, may it continue insh’Allah.” I say it would be better without a checkpoint. He laughs and thanks me for what we do. Meanwhile Pierre asks one of the drivers what happened to the cars that were impounded by the Border Police and the Military Police on Route 611 (see report from March 22). The driver says that the cars were photographed when they were parked there and when they reached the Barta’a checkpoint they were identified and sent to park in a military parking lot.  Later a  lawyer charged NIS 500-1,000 for the release of each of them (report from March 22).

06:45 Tura-Shaked Checkpoint

The gatesinfo-icon of the checkpoint are still locked, but for the moment no one is crossing via the nearby breach in the fence. Two workers who have crossed are waiting for a ride to a carpentry shop in the Shahak Industrial Park. One car is already waiting for workers at the checkpoint, which is scheduled to open at 07:00.

We telephoned M, the tractor driver. The army has to open the Anin checkpoint for him and his son (pedestrians cross through the nearby breach in the fence). This morning, M and his son had gone to work and were waiting by the gate of the checkpoint.

07:00 Anin Checkpoint

The army got there before us, and M and his son and the tractor had already gone through. M. stopped near us and after a brief chat, continued on his way to Umm El Fahm. We passed him and continued to Haifa. We were pleased to discover that the roadblock on Route 65 was no longer there.