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, Thu 29.12.11, 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 KT
Many residents of A’anin received special daily crossing permits for the olive harvest (‘amal – work permits) at the A’anin checkpoint that are valid until the end of December, 2011. The army ordered the harvest stopped at the end of November, and the checkpoint once again was open only two days a week. But there was still a great deal of work to do in the olive groves beyond the fence and the checkpoint, mainly because only a few family members received work permits. There are still olives on the trees; they have to be pruned, the ground must be plowed, and it all must be completed before the rains. “They’ll have to make do with two days a week. I know; my family also has olives,” says Wahal, the DCO representative.
Now people have permits valid for another month, worth their weight in gold, but the army has forbidden them to continue working. Only agricultural permits are now valid (zir’a’a – agricultural – permits). After a day or two they changed their mind and let everyone work. The generous Occupation.
Today is the last day these permits are valid, so many people left the village this morning, not necessarily for the olive groves, including old men and women (among them the ill and frail), and youths, a true end-of-the-season celebration.
We gave three people a ride to Umm Reihan – an old, frail man, his wife and her sister. On the way they learned that Neta is from Haifa. “My mother is also from Haifa,” said the woman emotionally, “My mother is also from Haifa.”
Maliciousness for its own sake (condensed version)
Some time in September (three and a half months ago) the Israeli and Palestinian liason officers jointly visited the A’anin checkpoint. A man from A’anin took the initiative and asked them to permit the full-time farmers (most of whose lands, as we know, are located in the seam zone ghetto) to cross back and forth through the Shaked/Tura checkpoint, which is open daily and is an hour-and-a-half drive from A’anin. OK, they said, give us a list. He gave them a list of 30 people.
Two weeks ago, completely by chance, we learned about that list, and that 26 people on it had already been authorized some time ago to cross through the Shaked checkpoint. The day before yesterday we obtained the list from the Civil Administration. We asked V., from the DCO – why didn’t you notify the people? They’ve been waiting and waiting for three months! It’s very tempting to quote his response, butI’m too embarrassed. Stupidity, malice, indifference. Whether I like it or not, V. and I are on the same side. My government pays him his salary for his failures, his motivation, his lack of consideration, and the Machsom Watch badge on my lapel can’t neutralize my feelings of shame and nausea.
Yesterday we faxed the list to the A’anin municipality; I doubt whether they could do anything useful with it. Today we gave two of the full-time farmers copies of the list. I doubt whether either of them will bother notifying the other lucky on