'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 29.10.09, Morning
06:10 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
Workers who have passed the checkpoint and are waiting for a ride to work in the Seam Zone say that "today is okay."
People come in small groups to the Palestinian parking lot, and are swallowed into the terminal after the woman security guard at the entrance asks them in Arabic what their packages contain. A few pass in the opposite direction – from the West Bank to the seam Zone.
Three pickups loaded with vegetables and oil cans are waiting for inspection. Three private cars are also waiting.
06:40 Aanin Checkpoint
Few people are crossing. About 20 are still waiting to pass at this hour. One man complains that they wouldn’t let him take olive oil containers through for sale in the Seam Zone.
The eight children from the Bedouin village alongside the checkpoint arrive for transport to school in Um e-Reihan. The children are nice and well-dressed for this filthy checkpoint.
07:00 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
The gates are open and a few pedestrians have already crossed. Beyond the fence, perhaps 30 men, a few cars and a disciplined flock of goats are waiting to enter the Seam Zone. The first car passes into the West Bank.
Children arrive and go through without inspection to Tura school (West Bank). Student women enter through the examination hut. A man tells us that yesterday afternoon the transit was particularly slow, and he waited from 16:45 till 18:00.
A man runs past us towards the checkpoint, and calls "have you heard of a wedding without bridegroom?" He says that his sister’s wedding is supposed to be today, and he’ll be back immediately to tell us about it. After a lively discussion with a DCO representative, which we saw from the distance but obviously did not overhear, he runs back to his car and drives off quickly. Forgot to tell us... Didn’t want to tell us?
About an hour later, as we were on our way home, peace activist Buma phoned and wanted to consult about it. He asked us to help the families if possible. We gave him the phone number of Salem DCO Head – Lt. Col. Adel. Through the day it became clear that the groom is security blacklisted, and even though he submitted a request a month ago to come to the bride’s home in the Seam Zone (after the pre-nuptial ceremonies), they have only now told him that he is blacklisted. So today’s ceremony will be for women only, and tomorrow he must come to Um el Reihan to take the bride to the marriage ceremony in his village, which is near Jenin. We still don’t know how it ended. We hope they married with good fortune...