'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 8.2.10, Morning

Leah R., Anna N.S. (Reporting)

Translation: Bracha B.A.

06:15 A'anin Agricultural Checkpoint
We approached the checkpoint against the stunning background of an orange-colored sunrise breaking through shreds of clouds over the mountains and the houses of the sleeping town. In the olive grove among the piles of junk cyclamens, anemones, and other wildflowers are in bloom. It is a lovely sight to see. If only there was no fence.

06:20 The soldiers are far away, at the center of the checkpoint, but no one has gone through yet. A soldier approaches us and says that we have passed the gate. He says that everyone who has valid permits will be permitted to cross regardless of the official opening hours. He claims that there are about 50 people waiting and some of their permits are expired. Finally people began to pass through at a maddeningly slow rate. They smile as they come through. 63 people received agricultural permits for three to six months and we join them in their small celebration, hoping that this is a sign of spring and that they will once again be permitted to go to their fields. We left before everyone had passed through.

07:00 Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint
Groups of merchants and laborers arrive, going to Barta'a. There are not a lot of people but they arrive steadily. A van loaded with agricultural produce wrapped in plastic is waiting to be checked. The driver claims that eight vehicles have been in the inspection facility since 06:00. At the terminal near the yellow gate a metallic voice tells people to prepare their I.D. cards and have their bags ready for inspection. There are ten people waiting in front of the gate and when it opens with a buzz exactly five people enter. People enter holding their permits and ID cards in their left hand and pushing the gate open with their right. The gate slams with an annoying noise in the face of the sixth person. The people approach the X-ray machine and spill out the contents of their bags to be checked. The person sitting at the window responds apathetically in a metallic voice: "What's that? Take it out. Thank you."

07:25 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
School children who live in the seamline zone are waiting at the center of the checkpoint. They pass through the concrete barriers in an orderly fashion past the woman soldier, where they open their school bags and she peeks inside. A van filled with students arrives and the soldier recognizes them and greets them with "Good morning." She peeks inside and the van with its human cargo continues on its way to school in the West Bank.

High school students and university students usually pass through the inspection booth. A car with teachers who teach in Yaabed arrives and waits for one of the teachers who is detained for ten minutes. They claim that he is always detained and they don't know why.

We left at 07:45.