Yabed-Dotan checkpoint: Police were called to evict us because we were taking pictures

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Marina Banai and Ruti Tuval Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

06:10 Barta’a – Reihan Checkpoint

We barely managed to get to the entrance to the checkpoint. There were a lot of cars on both sides of the road that were double and triple-parked. A lot of workers were waiting for their rides. We continued south   

06:20  Hermesh Checkpoint

Two soldiers approached us.  Later at the Ya'bed Checkpoint we would learn they were from the Golani Brigade.  We asked them not to linger because several cars coming from the direction of Kafin were already waiting to cross. One of the soldiers approached the window of our car with his weapon pointed towards us and a new appearance in the I.D.F. – the long fringed garment worn by religious Jews.  He asked to see our I.D. cards and called his commander: “Those women in the pink car.”  (our car was not pink, but blue)   He then told us that his commander had no solution to the problem.  Another curiosity for our arsenal... 

06:35 Ya'bed – Dotan Checkpoint

We parked our car on a fresh patch of asphalt to the left of the checkpoint and hurried to photograph a wonderful sunrise.   Immediately two soldiers came up to us  that it was dangerous there and that we were not allowed to take pictures.  We showed them that we had only taken a photo of the sunrise.   Here, too, they told us to leave or they would call the police.  We told them nicely to go back and do their jobs because cars were waiting to cross.  We were not upset.  People waved to us and we waved back.  “See, people know us here.”   We learned that they were from the Golani Brigade and asked them if they were not upset at having to work here as soldiers of the occupation.  They told us that they had previously been stationed on the Lebanese border.  “We don’t want to talk about politics.”  “Go bother the settlers, not us.”   They escorted us on the drive to Barta’a Checkpoint where they reported us to someone.  We finally found the special permit that we had in our phone permitting us to take pictures of the checkpoints without being disturbed.  We waited about 15 minutes because they said they had called the police about us and finally they smilingly let us go.  We had become a curiosity in their arsenal.

07:30 Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

Schoolgirls were crossing at the checkpoint.  We saw them near the door to the inspection room.  Cars were crossing from one side to another. Some of them were driven by women carrying young children without adhering to any safety regulations, which was frightening.  A car from the border patrol arrived and they asked us whether we needed anything or a cup of coffee perhaps.  

Throughout the drive we signed at the sight of the horrible separation wall, but marveled at the lovely numerous squills that were flowering along the way.