'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 18.5.09, Morning

Leah R, Anna NS

06:05 Aanin Checkpoint

The checkpoint only opened at 06:10, with 15 people and a number of tractors waiting.

No DCO representative. The Hummer, for a change, with engine turned off.

A youngster and a child are trying to pass. The child is returned home because he must be accompanied by an adult. The youngster, less than 15 years old, is equipped with a birth certificate and ID of a parent – and passes.

After them, a resident of Aanin, P., says that the two were going out to beg for money at crossroads, instead of to school. The situation at home is so bad, the father is not working.

Transients are not delayed, passage is fast. So people today contend that the soldiers are "okay."

There is a collective problem – of urgent care for olive groves. P. argues that the new plantings must be watered at least once every two weeks, otherwise the plants will die. And there needs to be weeding and pruning for fear of fires. There is no water on the ground, and tractor owners bring from home.

07:05 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint

The schoolchildren also have a document identifying them as residents of Dahar el Malch. So each midget arrives at the soldier, with open bag, and hands over the document for his scrutiny. Everything done perfectly and politely. The children are also obedient and cooperative. We wonder about the experience of a meeting between a small child and the wielder of a weapon which is at least twice the size of the child.

07:30 – the kindergarten children from Um el Reihan are going a trip to one of the villages. About 25 toddlers accompanied by grandmothers and young, beautiful mothers. Babies clutched to mothers’ bosom and all striding along quite normally as though obeying some law of nature, to the hut for electronic inspection.

On the West Bank side some 20 workers are waiting, among them the principal of Hirbet Bartaa school.
Transit is slow and pressure builds up. We ask the soldiers to let the principal through. The soldiers are pressured by the crowding in both directions, including relatively many vehicles. All in all it is quiet and courteous.

08:10 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
At this hour, the sun scorches every cell in the body. A few drivers wait in the shade. From time to time a taxi arrives and releases workers and merchants to Bartaa. Transit is regular, no visible difficulties. The pickups and taxis are inspected on the upper level which has grown at the expense of the surrounding landscape.

On our way back to the car, we are delayed by a man who says that he was detained three months in a prison near Kfar Sava (which?), and when rekleased they did not return the 500 shekels they had confiscated.


08:40 – we left.