'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 26.7.10, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
05:05 Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint
The first laborers go through the fenced corridor towards the parking lot next to the seam zone. Only one transport vehicle waits at this hour.
Pickup trucks loaded with merchandise are arranging themselves in the parking lot on the Palestinian side. About 20 seamstresses sit on the curb, waiting for their co-workers. They say they begin work at the sewing workshops on the eastern side of Barta’a between 06:00 – 06:30, and finish at 14:30. More seamstresses arrive in a transport vehicle. All are attractive and proud, even at this early hour. They enter the terminal in groups of five.
Male laborers also arrive; they also enter in groups of five. The terminal swallows all of them up. No line, no crowding. “Very good,” but why place a terminal here, between the Jenin sub-district, which is Palestinian, and the Barta’a salient that’s also Palestinian.
One of the drivers tells us that in the village of Khirbet Munter, which is a neighborhood in Zabde, four houses were separated from the others by the fence. They’re located in the seam zone; an old man lives by himself in one of them. His brothers and their families, who live on the other side of the fence, sent one of their sons to live with him. The son isn’t recognized as “a permanent resident of the seam zone,” and is forbidden to live with his uncle. They said that a relative from Jordan came to visit the village. The tourist/relative visited the villagers living on the other side of the fence but wasn’t allowed to visit the relatives living in the seam zone. A., from the DCO, explained to us later that “Jordanians are a problem. They don’t have Palestinian ID cards.”
05:40 The seven pickup trucks that lined up in the parking lot enter the vehicle checkpoint to have their documents inspected.
05:50 The pickup trucks approach the inspection point. Two cars enter the vehicle checkpoint. Seamstresses and other laborers wait with their colleagues for rides in the parking lot next to the seam zone.
06:00 A’anin checkpoint
About 35 people, a few children, one woman, two donkeys and four tractors wait to cross. Three people are turned back. Their permits have expired. The people crossing tell us that permits aren’t being renewed. They say that sometimes they’re allowed to bring in used clothing, and sometimes they aren’t. When they’re not, they call the residents of the Bedouin village in the seam zone to the outskirts of the checkpoint to collect the clothing bundles.
06:50 The soldiers lock the checkpoint gates.
07:00 Shaked-Tura checkpoint
A few cars and about a dozen people wait beyond the fence. The elegant banker from the Yabed bank branch and another man arrive from Dahr al Malq, in the seam zone. A taxi arrives, among its passengers a woman with a baby in her arms. Three male and two female soldiers are attending to her. After about 15 minutes the problem seems to have been solved, the woman and the baby enter the inspection room and cross to the West Bank. A., from the DCO, explains to us that the woman lost her “Seam Zone Permanent Resident” card. She and the baby were sent to the Salem DCO to obtain a new permit.
07:30 We left the land of permits.