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, Tayba-Rummana, Thu 21.6.12, Morning
`Anin Checkpoint is located on the separation fence, east of Mei Ami, between the village of `Anin in the West Bank and Um el-Fahm in Israel. Those who pass and return here are residents of `Anin, mostly to cultivate their lands which have been cut off from the village by the separation fence. The checkpoint opens two days a week, morning and afternoon, and daily during the olive harvest season. People go out from the village in the morning and must return the same afternoon. Anyone who does not return that same day has his permits confiscated, and until he gets the situation corrected he is prohibited from transit.
Translator: Charles K.
Photos, from top to bottom: A’anin, Mavo Dothan, Shaked, Tayibe Rummaneh
06:05 A’anin checkpoint. The gates are open, about 35 people and 4 tractors go through. They cross quickly; one of them praises the female MP. Recently there had been confrontations with a different female soldier. A few people tell us their “usual” troubles: the brother of one lives in Umm el Fahm with his Israeli wife. He doesn’t dare apply for a crossing permit to the West Bank because he fears he won’t be permitted to return to Israel. Another’s crossing permit is set to expire and he
doesn’t know when he’ll receive a new one.
06:35 Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint. Three cars wait at the vehicle checkpoint to cross to the seam zone. Behind them, seven loaded pickup trucks wait on the road.
06:45 Mavo Dothan checkpoint. On our way to the checkpoint we saw lovely green tobacco fields. The checkpoint isn’t manned at this hour – it’s well known there’s no terrorist activity before 7 AM… Few cars. Two flocks of sheep cross the road.
07:00 Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint. Lower Palestinian parking lot: Laborers arrive from the West Bank in small groups. The standard announcement is heard before they enter the terminal - “five at a time.” Few cross to the West Bank. The pickup trucks are still waiting. The young man who set up a stand to sell coffee and snacks calls it a “restaurant;” it even has old sofas to lounge on. There are still parking spaces at this hour.
07:20 Shaked-Tura checkpoint. One person crossing to the seam zone calls to us from the new fenced corridor, “Today things are OK.”
Someone else says he has 52 dunums in the seam zone but isn’t able to obtain an agricultural crossing permit that’s valid for longer than three months. “Why issue a permit valid for a year if they can drive someone crazy?” A laborer waiting for transportation to the Shahak industrial zone in the seam zone earns NIS 200 for an 8 hour day, with no benefits. He’s aware of what he’s entitled to because he used to work at Kibbutz Ein Hashofet where he received “everything.”
07:50 Tayibe-Rummanhe checkpoint. We were a little early, as were five local people sitting in the shed on the east side of the fence.
08:05 A jeep with three Border Police soldiers and a female MP arrives – she inspects, they provide security. One of the soldiers explains that it’s not a checkpoint but an agricultural crossing. It all depends on how you look at it.
08:15 Everyone crossed – one woman, eight men and a tractor. One of them demonstrates his knowledge of the Israeli left, asking whether we’re from Peace Now.