'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 19.4.10, Morning

Leah R., Anna N.S

Translation: Bracha B.A.

There is a festive atmosphere at the checkpoints on Israeli Independence Day.  The Israeli flag is flying over Palestinian soil.  Some of the residents greet us and wish us a happy holiday.

06:05 A'anin Checkpoint
People are being checked at the lower part of the checkpoint and it is difficult for us to follow what is going on.  At 06:40 the Bedouin children arrive on donkey and they send them back and wait for Yussuf to come with his car to take them to school.

People leave the checkpoint please and greet us wishing us a happy Independence Day…All in all about 30 people with tractors passed through.  People complain that they can only renew their permits after they have expired at the Palestinian Liaison and Coordination Administration.   Getting a new one can take months, if it is given at all.  At 07:00 the last people pass through and the checkpoint closes.  A young man comes back after having crossed and wants to return, since he does not feel well.  After a short conference the soldiers don't let him back – it is late and they must move on to their next task.  They tell him to go back through Reihan, but that will cost him trouble and money.  We tried to convince them to change their minds, but the man finally gave up and left.

07:15 Shaked Checkpoint
On our way to the checkpoint we saw flags waving broadcasting "we are here."  All that was missing was the national anthem playing on loudspeakers.

The children at the checkpoint are accustomed to the routine, and pass by the soldier and present their bags to be checked.  The soldier sometimes puts his hand inside to check.  A father drives his two children, aged 2 and 4, and they witness the car being checked and the trunk being opened, the mats being picked up, and wait quietly while everything is going on.   The women students pass through the inspection booth.

08:00 – Reihan-Barta'a Checkpoint
The seamstresses have gone to work today, but those who work in the Shahak Industrial zone have the day off.  We were told that the people who work in the carpet factory remained there all night.  The army attempted to make them go back but the owners of the factory intervened.

A man is trying to cross through to Barta'a with a bag filled with upholstery material.  He went through in the past but today with the bag of material he is not allowed.  A lot of people are crossing at a reasonable rate.

08:30 – Mevo Dotan Checkpoint
Cars are moving in both directions, and everything was as usual.

We left at 08:50.