Al-Taiba: Occupation’s Daily Reality Check

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Al-Akhbar Management

Photo Blog by Dylan Collins

The Israeli checkpoint at al-Taiba, on the outskirts of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, serves as one of the main channels through which Palestinian laborers cross from the West Bank.

According to the Stop the Wall office in Tulkarem, approximately 7,000 Palestinians, from all over the Tulkarem, Nablus, and Jenin districts, converge upon al-Taiba everyday in order reach their places of employment inside the green line.

Groups of workers begin arriving around 4 AM every morning. After passing through the ad-hoc souq, which serves up everything from fresh breakfast sandwiches and coffee to cigarettes, sardines and useless plastic trinkets, the earliest arrivals immediately enter into the maze-like series of gated canals, propping themselves up on cardboard mats, sipping coffee, and settling in to wait out the three hours they have until the checkpoint opens.

A few lucky individuals have permits allowing them to pass through Israeli checkpoint at 5 AM while the majority are left waiting until 7 AM.

Workers are granted permits that allow them to cross for a limited number of hours per day, a condition requiring them to go back and forth everyday in order to remain legally employed.

“Although I work a regular eight hour day at my job, I have an additional five to six hours of travel time every day,” says Suheil, a construction worker from Nablus who works in the Haifa area.

When asked why he chooses not to work around home, Suheil, along with many other workers, respond that laborers are paid more than twice as much inside the green line for the same job. “It’s not even a question,” says Suheil. “If I worked in the West Bank, I simply wouldn’t be able to support my family.”

(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)
(Photo: Dylan Collins)

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