Since 2001 we have observed dozens of army checkpoints on paved and unpaved roads in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and along the Separation Fence; Civil Administration offices which grant permits to Palestinians; and military courts trying Palestinian prisoners. We stand at the checkpoints observing the behavior of soldiers and Palestinians without interfering, intervening only when soldiers behave offensively to Palestinians. Then we try to speak to the soldiers themselves or telephone...
Barta'a/Reikhan, Tayba-Rummana, Tura/Shaked, Thur. 15.12.11 morning
Tayba-Rummana checkpoint is an agricultural checkpoint on the Separation Fence east of Umm alFahm opposite the villages Khirbet Tayba and Rummana.
Soldiers and Border Policemen man the checkpoint. Palestinians with permits are allowed to cross it to work their land in the Seam Zone which, in this area , is a narrow strip of land south-east of the Barta'a enclave.
It is open twice a week for 30 min in the morning and in the afternoon. During the olive harvest it is open every cay 06:30-08:00 and 15:30-16:00/
Translation: Dvora K.
06:05 A'anin CP
The gates of the CP are open and the first people to arrive there are now leaving. Among them are many young people and families with little children all dressed up. Ultimately, after the yelling and the mix-ups of two weeks ago, all the olive-picking permits have been respected and people can go out to the groves until the permits become invalid at the end of the month. The olive-picking season has not ended of course but againthe CP opens only twice a week for half an hour – on Mondays and Thursdays, at six a.m. and at 3 p.m.
Those who own large olive groves, who could not finish the work in the time allotted, submitted requests for daily passage through the Shaked CP in September. According to them, they did this on the advice of representatives of the Palestinian and the Israeli DCOs, who visited the place. They still haven't received responses. One of them told us that he owns 120 dunams, some over the fence, and to which he has no access. All of his land is in the seamline zone.
We drove the veterinary from A'anin to his clinic in Umm Reihan. We helped him improve the Hebrew in his clinic's sign. To our surprise, we found that a half of the clinic is a shop for household utensils, as an additional source of livelihood.
07:25 Shaked-Tura CP
We arrived together with the ride of the young children. The children run to the military police and open their bags even if they are not asked to do so. For tem this is the routine of going to school. A few people are waiting in front of the door to the inspection pavilion, in the direction of the West Bank. What, after all, is there to inspect in that direction?
08:00 Taibeh-Rumne CP
The CP has opened on time and the first person is going through. Somebody tells us that they opened on time thanks to us, but the truth is that they opened it before we'd arrived. Here, too, as in A'anin, people are still going through using permits valid for olive-picking, even though, according to the army, the season has ended. One of those going through tells us that he has a permit to go to his fields on the other side of the fence, for three months. His father, an 88-year-old tractor driver, has a permit for the whole year, because he is officially recorded as the owner.
The soldiers have to leave the CP by 08:30, the CP's closing time. We leave a bit before that and have an excellent breakfast in nearby Umm el Fahem. Here too we hear about the CPs: The wife of the restaurant owner – his cook – is a Palestinian, and she has a permit to stay in Israel, but she does not have a blue (Israeli) ID card. They have to coordinate their trips to the West Bank so that they go through during the time set aside for Israelis and for Palestinians.
We went to visit our young friend, W. On the way a tractor driver from A'anin, whom we know from the CP, stopped us. The gear of his tractor has to be repaired; he cannot go in reverse. He wants to take the tractor in for repairs and go home from there, but the A'anin CP is already closed and will reopen only at 3 p.m. We talked to Mahdi from the Salem DCO and the man was allowed to come back through the Shaked-Tura CP.