'Anin, Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 12.4.10, Afternoon
Bracha B.A. - Translation
14:05 – Jalameh Crossing
We brought the baby girl Aya and her grandmother here and stayed to observe the checkpoint. At this hour young and old women are returning from their work picking garlic in the nearby moshavim. They are gay and smiling, and carry bundles on their heads, pleased to meet us and their friends despite their hard workday in the hot sun. They are amazing women.
They pass through the checkpoint relatively quickly. In the morning they are asked to enter the inspection rooms but now they don't have to and soon they are waving to us from the other side of the sleeve.
15:00 A'anin Agricultural checkpoint
We were told that this morning the checkpoint opened at 07:00 instead of 06:00 and that 60 people crossed. The soldiers on this shift don't know the reason for the delay in the morning. Farmers pass through with tractors and wagons carrying people, farm equipment, and donkeys and a tractor loads sacks of sawdust that are waiting at the checkpoint. Documents and items are checked without much delay.
15:15 – Shaked – Tura Checkpoint
The checkpoint looks like an army camp on the eve of war: there are Israeli flags flying everywhere and sandbags around the concrete blocks on the road. People pass through relatively quickly but some tell us that there are delays and we learn from a soldier that there are some detainees. A woman student said that there is a red line under her name that means that she gets special attention. She is not the only one.
16:15 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint
Cars are double and triple-parked waiting for their owners to return from work.
-What do you have in your pocket?
-Take it out, open it.
-Hold it up, I can't see.
-Open it please.
-Open it, open it. Take it out.
-What's that, clothing?
-Put it on the table.
-OK, you can go through. Thank you.
We went up to the entrance to the sleeve. The entire path has a stone wall that hides everything from view. What are they trying to hide? On the other hand the garden is in full bloom.
People are passing relatively quickly through the sleeve towards Palestine. There are several youths being detained. They have been waiting for a long time. We are later told that they are allowed to detain them for three hours.
On our way out from the sleeve we see a long line of cars going in the direction of the West Bank. One driver tells us that he is held up every day coming and going, and he does not know why. What do they want from him? He is carrying two passengers. They get out and the driver puts his magnetic card into the machine, and is then told to pull his car over. Other cars behind him are told to go through while he has to wait. Obediently he follows orders and is led to a booth at the top of the checkpoint where he undoubtedly undergoes frisking and is questioned. We are told by the security guard that even if he goes through ten times a day he will still be delayed. This security precaution is for entering Israel but not for moving within the West bank or the seamline zone. He says he is only following orders. He was told to detain him and so he does so.
25 minutes later the man was released. We left at 17:40.