The plight of parking at the checkpoint in Barta`a

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Rachel Weizman and Ruti Tuval

6:45 Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint

The entire area round the entrance to the upper parking lot at the checkpoint is jam-packed with workers and transport vehicles. Outside the southern side of the checkpoint (Area C), close to the gate, a Palestinian ambulance is parked on the road, perhaps waiting for someone who’s due to arrive from Israel.


07:00 Ya’abed-Dotan checkpoint

A military vehicle is parked opposite the watchtower. Traffic is moving without being delayed. Drivers wish us good morning. A settler from Mavo Dotan tells us off for parking near the junction. We drive towards to hills simply to enjoy the plowed fields and the gorgeous sunrise.


07:20 Hermesh checkpoint

Lively traffic of Palestinian and Israeli vehicles.

On our way back to the Barta’a checkpoint, we stop at the Zabda parking lot, which we reported on last week. In the meantime, access from the main road and from the lower road that passes under Zabda bridge has been blocked. The friendly attendant is nowhere to be seen today. In any case, several cars, which apparently came from inside of the town, are already parked there. After that, we drive into the old parking lot, the only one paved with asphalt and close to the terminal. We drive past and observe the development work on the parking lot down the hill, which is reached by a dirt track that winds down the wadi. Anyone parking there has to go up the hill and walk a fair distance to the terminal.


08:00 Tura-Shaked checkpoint

Activity is relatively lively for this checkpoint today. Cars come and go. Workers are picked up. On the building site known as Eastern Katzir (next to the Green Line on the Israeli side), heavy machinery and trucks are busy levelling the ground for the construction of more villas that will overlook a sensational view.


At Kfar Kara Aroma coffie shop, where the workers and most of the people sitting there are Arabic speakers, songs of Meir Ariel and Arik Einstein are playing in the background, really quietly. Makes you want to cry.