'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 15.3.10, Morning

Leah R., Anna N.S.

Translation: Bracha B.A.

06:10 – A'anin Agricultural Checkpoint

The gate of the checkpoint is locked with a padlock and chain.  Eight soldiers and one woman soldier attempt to open it, but the lock is stuck.  The soldiers are stressed and realize that on the other side people are waiting to cross.  Two soldiers crawl through a hole in the fence and go to explain to the people what the problem is.  They apologize for the delay.  Finally a Hummer arrives and soldiers with long-handled metal shears remove the lock and the checkpoint opens within a few minutes.

06:45 – No one has been allowed through yet.  A soldier calls to his comrades to hurry.  "They've been waiting here for an hour already."  It appears that they have to turn on the computer. After about 10 minutes they begin.  About 25 men and women pass through at a normal rate after all their documents and bags are checked.  Whoever has a bag filled with items must unpack it and spread it out for inspection.  Where?  On the ground!

Recently another 30 permits were received.  One of the residents of A'anin also told us that representatives of international welfare organizations have come to the village in an attempt to establish an economic infrastructure and set up a sewing room to provide work for the women and another factory for the men.

So far this has only been talked about but there has been no action.

Several young people with invalid permits attempt to cross and are sent home by the soldiers.  The woman soldier evidently called about one of the young men and he was refused.  At 07:00 several of the people and tractors had still not gone through, but we left.

07:30 – Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
About 15 people are waiting to cross on the Tura (West Bank) side.  They emerge from the inspection room with their belts in their hands.  All report that the crossing was without delay.  The small children approach the soldier with their schoolbags open.  They are used to the routine at the checkpoint.

07:55 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint
Merchants and workers going to East Barta'a arrive at the lower parking lot and disappear into the terminal.  The closureinfo-icon on entry to Israel is not felt here, since few people have permits to work in Israel.  The seamstresses and workers at Barta'a have crossed through as usual.

At this hour several tenders with agricultural produce are being checked in the upper parking lot and another two are waiting in the lower parking lot.  The drivers ask when our holiday begins and how long it will last.  Are they preparing for the bad conditions at the checkpoints when they cross?

We left at 08:20.