Northern Checkpoints, Barta’a-  Twisted Logic of the system

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Tzafrira Z. and Hannah H. Marcia L., Translation


15:15 – Anin Checkpoint

Eleven people and two tractors loaded with junk, wait beside the gate at the entrance to the checkpoint.  The soldiers are already there, but the checkpoint is not open and we have a chance to speak with the workers who are returning to the village. The son of one of the regular people who passes through, works in Netanya (with a valid permit to work in Israel), and he also had an agricultural passage permit at Anin Checkpoint.  He was caught in Netanya several days after his permit to work in Israel expired, and therefore they took away his agricultural permit as well, with which he could pass through to the Seamline Zone.

Another worker, a resident of Anin (who has a permit to pass to the Seamline Zone and the Checkpoints at Anin and Barta’a) went to work in the morning through the Barta’a Checkpoint.  Now he worriedly asks us if they will let him pass through to home via the Anin Checkpoint?  If not, will they take away my permits?  There is always this fear.  At 15:20, the checkpoint opens and everyone goes home to Anin, including the worker who passed through in the morning through Barta’a.

15:30 – Tura-Shaked Checkpoint

Right now, no one is leaving and no one is coming, but in spite of that, a car with passengers on its way to the West Bank, is delayed before the checkpoint.  It is hot.  After five minutes, the arm that blocks the way, lifts up and the car enters for inspection.  Another driver who returns from Jenin, tells us that every day, in two directions, the same delay for absolutely no reason to inspect a vehicle. 

Few people pass through in two directions.  Women with purchases return from Jenin.

16:00 – Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint

Workers return to the West Bank and to the Seamline Zone from work in Israel.   A group of workers return from their jobs in adjacent Umm-al- Fahm.In the morning, they didn’t pass from here, rather from the distant Jalama-Gilboa Checkpoint.  A worker who lives next to Jenin and works in Karkur, tells us that he loses four hours and money, to travel to distant Taybe Checkpoint, from his house to work, because he is not allowed to leave for Israel in the morning from Barta’a Checkpoint. Another worker, a resident of Kafin, asks about the same issue:  How is it possible to arrange for him to be able to pass through nearby Barta’a Checkpoint,that is near his work and his home, in the morning as well?  Good question!!!  We also ask why they don’t take the workers into consideration, and instead, make them travel long, unnecessary distances to work, that makes two sides necessary.

Women and children pass in two directions.  Prominent in their fancy clothes, families and musicians pass through to a wedding, from the West Bank to Barta’a.

16:15 – A stream of workers returning home to the West Bank, overcoming it all.