Eyal Crossing, 'Anabta, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Te'enim Crossing, Tue 16.6.09, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
15:40 Te’anim crossing.
When we arrived at the Te’anim crossing, Amit approached the soldiers and asked them to open the gate into the village of Jab’ara, which is locked. The reservist told her that he’s been there five days, and the gate’s control panel is out of order, so it isn’t possible to enter or leave the village through this gate; if we like, we can drive to the other entrance, from a different area, but not today. Why? Because a security incident is underway; they’re trying to locate a vehicle with weapons that’s in the area of the village.During Amit’s conversation with the reservist, Zahava went over to the Border Police personnel who stood not far from the road into the village and saw that they had hit a Palestinian man. We immediately went over with our cameras but they yelled at us not to photograph and to move away. After the Border Police released him, the young man, apparently someone without a permit to be in Israel, didn’t want to talk to us and walked down the road to Anabta with his head bowed.
The checkpoint, currently being renovated, is not operating, and a temporary checkpoint has been erected about 20 meters away, next to the junction. A Palestinian driver stopped to complain. He said that in the early morning, when it’s crowded, the junction is jammed and the proximity of the checkpoint could cause accidents. Amit talked to the soldiers, who said there’s no choice, the checkpoint is being renovated, the new asphalt hasn’t dried yet and the temporary checkpoint has to be near the lighted junction. Amit explained that they have to think of another solution since lives are at risk. The soldiers replied, indifferently, “Israeli,” since they’re not the ones in charge, and what else can they do, and anyway there hasn’t been an accident yet…
The workers return from their jobs, go through the one-way turnstile in a continuous flow and without crowding. Some workers stop next to us and report that in the morning it was terribly crowded, thorough inspections lasting about an hour and a half, the soldiers put most of the people in a room and searched their belongings while making them go from one place to another with no explanation or apparent reason.After about a quarter of an hour the checkpoint became crowded, the line lengthened and the sun is beating down on the Palestinian citizens who are standing and waiting. When we glanced at the inspection booths, we saw that only two were open. A young man named Tamin approached Amit, asking her to help his brother, Kamil Fauzi, who has a permit from the DCO to work in Israel, but has been refused passage through the checkpoint for the past two mornings. Amit tried to contact the “Center for the Defense of the Individual,” but there was no answer. So she called Kamil, talked to him and gave him the Center’s phone number.
We arrived, and near the parking area met three Israeli Arab men who transport Palestinian workers every morning. They complained that it was very crowded this morning, only one inspection booth was open and people had to wait a few hours. Last month the situation was even worse. People started lining up at 3 AM. Last week, they said, things improved but they still aren’t good enough in the morning. Palestinian citizens go through on foot without any problem, and in a few minutes they’re on the other side of the checkpoint; from time to time they hiss at us, “Come in the morning.” The soldiers come over and ask us not to photograph the checkpoint.