'Anin, Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Tue 17.11.09, Afternoon
We dropped off little Aya and her mother returning from ambulatory treatment at Rambam Hospital and watched the passage of vehicles awaiting inspection on their way back to Israel. Israeli Arabs traveling back from Jenin, where they went shopping, visiting relations and spending time. It appeared as natural as any border crossing between two peaceful entities. The drivers were presenting their documents at one inspection point and proceeded to one of several baggage inspection booths.
A security guard, who thought we were interested only in the Palestinians, obligingly explained the procedure and told us that not all the cars were actually inspected. Neta remarked that yesterday a Palestinian called her on his way back from work in Israel, complaining that there was a large crowd waiting to pass through and only one booth - out of the ten existing booths - was functioning. His response was that the security staff was allocated according to actual needs. The size of the staff at the CP was determined by the Ministry of Defense and at present they directed more inspectors to the vehicle checking point rather than to the terminal.
While we were there, we saw few pedestrians and indeed, only one open booth. But on our way to 'Anin we already noticed many contractors' vehicles driving their workmen to the CP. The crowding would then start.
The gate opened exactly at 15:30 and the Palestinians started passing through one by one: only when one completed the procedure would the next one approach. Each one was being inspected by five soldiers who appeared to be equipped with a laptop. Each was checked in the name list, requested to open up his coat and even lift his shirt. We wonder: All this on the way back to the village? Some 40 persons passed through, 3 women, 4 tractors. No apparent problem.
The traffic was going through at a normal pace in both directions. A boy returning from a friend, a small herd of goats back from the pasture in the seamline zone to Tura. Everything seemed quiet. The CP commander inquired about our impression of the CP.
We walked to the lower parking lot, which was crowded by cars and their drivers seeking passengers. A young man holding a work permit for Barta'a inquired on how he would be able to obtain a one-day entrance permit into Israel. We went up to the upper parking lot and returned via the line (the 'sleeve'). The passage was proceeding well. Two booths were functioning and that really made the difference. We noticed that whenever a woman approached the line, the men would move aside and give her priority.
We noticed three detainees, but they were allowed through shortly thereafter.
No unusual occurrences. The Palestinians wanted to credit us, but we saw no justification thereof.