'Anin, Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Sun 8.11.09, Morning
The inspection of documents is being done on the other side of the gate, in the middle, far from where we are standing. No one goes through, but we hear the voices and that is why we try to get a bit nearer. The commander sends a soldier to threaten us: "Tell them to get out or I'll ..." "Or he'll what?" we ask the young soldier who is new to the area and is interested in us. "Or he'll blow you up," he answers smiling sweetly. Just kidding .... A few minutes later a donkey and rider go through and report to us that the computer is not working. The passage of people now is conducted at the rate of one minute per person. Somebody tells us that twenty people are still waiting. The famous rubbish dump in the olive grove has been flattened somewhat. The plastic armchairs and chairs have disappeared.
6:30 - Reihan-Barta'a CP
About twenty people are waiting in the upper parking lot for rides to work. They report on a lot of pressure on Saturday morning, when workers and tradesmen go through together because the terminal opens late. It seems that there are some who work seven days a week. The law of a day of rest does not apply to them because in the seamline zone, Jordanian law is applicable. There is no special compensation for work on Saturday and no special compensation for overtime. No pay for vacations and no pay for illness. The workers do not complain because they are afraid that they will be fired with no compensation. Someone tells us with wonder that a worker who was made redundant in Barkan did get full compensation thanks to his lawyer.
At the gate where vehicles enter, women students "iron" their magnetic id cards. In the post opposite them, there is a guard dressed in black pointing his rifle at them. The passage of people through the terminal was delayed for about ten minutes because of the inspection of the electric work tools of the tile-layers. From 6:45 on the passage goes ahead steadily. Somebody who is in a big hurry, begs his employer by phone to wait for him for another two minutes. Empty pickup trucks on their way to the West Bank go through quickly. From the other side no vehicles are waiting for inspection. In the inspection compound, hidden from us, it is possible to get a glimpse of dogs scanning goods.
7:03 Shaked-Tura CP
A herd of goats goes through just as we arrive. About tweny people are standing at the turnstile. Four cars are waiting on the other side of the gate. The children's schoolbags are inspected at random, apparently because the soldiers are free from the inspection of cars. A Transit full of little children - about 15 - arrives and the children jump out, go through to the other side of the CP in a bunch and are collected by the Transit again after three minutes. They go to school in Ya'abed.
Shortly after 8:00, we pick up the baby Maya and her mother at the Jalameh CP, taking them to Rambam for the little one's dialysis. Again we read the big red sign that warns not to enter Area A (under control of the Palestinian Authority). The sign is worded peculiarly: Israelis are forbidden to go through, but we know that Israeli Arabs go there frequently. Apart from this, the warning is phrased as dangerous and life-threatening in Area A (the Authority). But the Palestinian Authority does not forbid us to go through. Whether or not to go there should be the responsibility of the person who chooses to do so, don't you think?