A 3-year-old toddler is detained at checkpoint Barta`a

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Marina Banai and Ruthi Tuval Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

This report was written on January 26th after the sad events in Jenin, the local city of most people who cross through the northern checkpoints.  11 Palestinians were killed in clashes with the IDF. 

14:35 – Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side

New concrete benches have been built under the shed that is covered with prayer rugs.  A large group of drivers were witting there and complained that they had no work.  Meanwhile many transit vehicles arrived filled with workers who were coming back to the West bank from work in Israel.  A young man approached us and was extremely agitated.  His mother was being detained on the other side of the checkpoint because her three-year-old daughter had no permit to cross.  She was listed in her father’s I.D. card and he was not here.   We called the managers of the checkpoint and Y. promised to look into the matter.    While we were talking another brother arrived who had also talked to the officer who also promised he would help

We bought two containers of olive oil from Anwar in Emricha.  You remember him from the report about the settlers from Maoz Zvi who evicted him during the olive harvest.  He works to earn a living for his family but doesn’t have enough money to pay for his daughter’s university education.   We continued on and stopped next to an unplanted field filled with poppies. To the north we could see the city of Ya`abad and to the south there was a view of  the settlements of Mevo Dotan and Maoz Zvi on the ridge and the Hadera River that winds between them.   

15:25 – Dotan Checkpoint

The traffic was flowing.  A large truck had to execute some complicated maneuvers to drive through the concrete barricades and cross the checkpoint.   Soldiers from the Kfir Brigade arrived in a jeep and warned us that the area was dangerous.  An explosive device was set off not far from here the day before yesterday.  We read Gideon Levi’s article entitled “And then the Soldiers Shot Him” about the lies told by the Kfir Brigade and the Netzach Yehuda Division that was recently sent to the Golan Heights.

15:50 – Reihan-Barta’a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

There were a lot of cars everywhere.   A new dirt road extended along the old embankment “the garbage dump”, and a new embankment now filled the riverbed near the main road.  A small sign told about the contracting company that is now working here, but we have not found out who ordered this project: the checkpoint management, the Palestinian Authority, or  a private initiator.  Many people were hurrying along the sleeveinfo-icon and returning to the West Bank.  There was a line of about 10 cars going in the opposite direction on their way to be checked. 

16:20  Tura- Shaked Checkpoint

There was also a long line of cars waiting here in front of the checkpoint.  The drivers explained that they had already been waiting for 15 minutes.   Women with shopping bags were arriving from the other side as well as a tractor pilling a wide wagon that nearly scratched a luxury 4x4 car as it passed it.  The young driver boasted that it cost NIS 200,000.  Someone coming from the West Bank reported that there was only one woman soldier in the checkpoint who was playing.  Suddenly a soldier named Judah was called over the loudspeaker and he came down from the guard tower.  We attempted to ask him what was going on.   Another soldier from the tower informed us that he could not stop to talk because he needed to let the cars cross.  Until now he had remained in the watch tower doing nothing.  With Judah’s arrival the checkpoint suddenly woke up, and  the cars began to move.  At 16:35  a group of women accompanied by girls and a babyinfo-icon walked up the road towards the checkpoint.  They smiled at us with almond-shaped brown, blue, and green eyes and we photographed them happily.