'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 20.4.09, Afternoon

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Leah R, Anna NS

15:00 Aanin Checkpoint

As we arrive a Military Police car that had stopped was just leaving. About ten people waiting to go home on a very hot day.

Five soldiers and a Hummer, with engine running (as usual) and four soldiers sprawled in an unclear mode on a merciless day. The residents had bought salty cheese and want to take it home. The soldiers refuse. It’s small quantities for family consumption – not commercial. They plead and the others block their ears and hearts.

One of the men is carrying a transparent plastic bag with two bottles of milk. Also forbidden... Another, wanting tio make his wife happy, had brought her a present, a packed gown, or maybe two. The soldier fingers them and decides – no!!

A soldier passes a resident after peering in his bag, and swearing (in Arabic) that, on the life of the Prophet Muhammad, next time he will take his permit – not clear why...

We talk to the soldiers, try to soften them into letting the residents take their cheese through. The soldiers are silent, ignoring...

A man on a tractor tries to persuade, and as he fails the tone of voice rises. All fury... Pulls an old shirt out from the tractor and waves it in the air in irritated gestures.

We phone the DCO. The Head of DCO is on the phone. Leah runs to the soldiers with the cell phone. They refuse to talk to him. H. from brigade refuses to alter the decree. She is certain that the residents bought the cheese in Israel. So what? In any case, cheese is taken to Aanin today – tomorrow a cow... Merciful lord...

We return to the soldiers. One of them throws at us that we are delaying the checking and harming the residents, for whom it is oh so hot! Everything happening quietly, pleasantly and politely enough to make you vomit...

The milk products stay behind the fence, the people pass.

We buy cheese from a Bedouin waiting on the side, to compensate for the shame.


15:45 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint

We wait about ten minutes with Ali, the sick child coming from Rambam Hospital after chemotherapy. Till approval comes to take him through in a car, not through the terminal. The first of the workers are returning home – from Shahak Industrial Area and the seamstresses first. Within half an hour the stream picks up. The workers pass in groups. "Everything’s okay." A few score all told. The drivers sit, idle in the heat, waiting in vain for passengers. At 16:30 prayers on rugs under the roof, then back to idling.

Repeatedly we’re told about about the crowding and distress at Irtah in the morning – long lines and carousels into which are crushed old people and women without separation.

Five tenders loaded with foodstuffs and a short convoy of private cars waiting for inspection on the road. Natters proceed according to the lists without difficulties. Only the heat radiating from the asphalt and the apathy of those present already fed up of complaining about the situation, and leave us be with questions about what was... "This is our lives. In the garbage – you don’t see?"

Yes we do see!!!