'Anin, Reihan, Thu 3.12.09, Afternoon
On our way to Rihan checkpoint with Alli and his mother - we stop and see what is happening at the Aaneen checkpoint.
Only a few people are already waiting for the opening of the gates, which according to them, would be in an hour, at 15:30.
Someone tells us that in the morning only 12 workers and two tractors went through. Those are the only ones who hold agriculture permits after November 30th. All the rest have no means of livelihood. There are no social services assistance in the village for needy people, "they" take it all.... can one try his luck in Ramallah? yes, but there is not enough work for everybody and also, it is very costly to live there. and where would food come from ? from Allah.
14:50 Rihan-Barta'a checkpoint
There is one car at the upper car park area. At 14:55 citrus pickers loaded with sacks of fruit arrive from Kfar Yona. Another group arrives from Herzliya, where they too they pick citrus. Work is from 8:00 until 14:00. The worker get paid by the container. For a full grapefruit container they're paid 13 NIS. They pick up to two containers an hour, so by our calculation a day's pay is about 156 NIS, but in reality ("there are breaks," they explain) they make 104 NIS per day, 2000 per month.
Except for workers returning home the checkpoint is quite vacant. Only a few go out in the opposite direction. We do not observe any crowding at the entrance to the terminal at this time of day.
15:45 Aaneen checkpoint
Gates are already closed; it appears that they were opened at 15:00 and closed at 15:30, according to an old procedure.