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...
'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 19.4.12, Morning
Shaked (Tura) Checkpoint is located on the separation fence and near the Palestinian villages of Tura and Dahar el-Malh and the settlement of Shaked. The checkpoint opens twice a day for a total of 10 hours. The transients are schoolchildren from the "seam zoon" who learn in West Bank educational institutions, farmers from both sides of the separation fence who have been cut off from their lands, pedestrians and vehicles. The names of those entitled to pass here are on lists held by the soldiers.
Since 2008 taxis and private cars with permits are allowed to pass from the West Bank to the Seam Zone and back.
Only now did they open the CP. About 30 people and three tractors are beginning to go through. One person goes through on a bicycle.
The schoolchildren from the Bedouin family at the foot of the CP are climbing up with their donkey, waiting for a ride to Umm-e- Reihan.
A soldier comes out of the CP area on the side of the seamline zone with his rifle drawn because of a bag with a suspicious white jar in it. The puzzle was solved and somebody takes the bag.
06:55 Six people and one tractor are still waiting to go through. A hitchhiker whom we take to Umm-e-Reihan tells us about the 'illegal visitors' hunt that the border patrol and the police carry out in Umm-el-Fahm.
07:05 Shaked-Tura CP
The gate on the side of the seamline zone is open. Eight schoolchildren are waiting in the area of the CP. Two additional gates are still locked. More children, the banker in his luxury car and the teacher with the car that looks a wreck all arrive. On the other side of the fence agricultural laborers are waiting in the seamline zone. After about 10 minutes they begin to go through. They are moving earth in the area of the CP. We expect lots of novelties and surprises.
07:30 Reihan-Barta'a CP
We pass the CP to the village of Ameriha. About a dozen cars are parked on the southern side of the 'bridge' that is always barred.
We returned to the Palestinian parking lot, which is already almost full at this time. To our surprise, about 40 people are crowded in front of the gate at the entrance to the terminal. The gate opens and people enter in fives.
The art work in the CP is going on. In addition to the green trees that were painted on the fence, there are now thick, brown tree trunks on the side of the parking lot of those who work at the CP.
07:50 On the side of the seamline zone, we pick up a young couple that has to get to the Rambam Hospital. They live in the Balata camp, near Nablus. They got up early and have been waiting since 06:30 because they did not know how long it would take to go through the CP.