'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 22.7.10, Morning

Netta Golan, Sula Bar (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.

 A’anin checkpoint, 06:10  - Fewer people crossing

People who want to cross at A’nin into the seam zone wait lower down, at the entrance near the village, so we aren’t able to see how many there are.  But, in general, the number of people holding crossing permits – whether to work their fields or for other reasons – continues to decline.  We put to Abbas, the DCO representative, that this reflects a policy of attrition, which he denies.  He says that the Palestinian DCO in Jenin is delaying renewing permits.  How long can they delay?  People keep complaining that permits are not being renewed for anyone. 

The DCO representative:  I’ll look into it.

And regarding foodstuffs that aren’t allowed to be brought through here to the village, he says that when he’s at the checkpoint he permits their entry.  We understood from what he said, though not explicitly, that the order came from brigade headquarters.  That’s what the soldiers also said.

We have the impression that people are being inspected more carefully today.  They raise their arms and a soldier inspects them with a hand-held wand.  A tractor is sent back.  Why? 
The DCO representative says, dryly:  “His permit expired.” 
We persist:  “But…he’s a farmer!  Until today he had a permit.  Why hasn’t it been renewed?”
The DCO representative has his own hypothesis:  “Maybe he didn’t apply?”

A laptop computer and a female soldier on the concrete cube .  The soldiers run back and forth between the people being inspected and the computer, modern labor union bureaucrats.

This military service is really quite a sight. 

Shaked checkpoint 07:15  The flag’s condition reflects the country’s

No one is waiting on the seam line side.  On the Tura side – everyone: people, goats, a donkey and a father with two children on their way to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem along with a volunteer from the HaDerech LeHachlama organization waiting for them at the checkpoint with his car.

A Palestinian from Dahr el Malk, the village next to the checkpoint on the Seam Zone side:  I bought a 1982 Subaru in Jenin, registered it in my name, the Jenin DCO certified that I’m the owner, but the Salem DCO hasn’t yet recorded it and for two months they haven’t let me bring it through the checkpoint.  They make me go back and forth.

Three flags fly at the checkpoint.  Two are apparently the soldiers’ unit flags.  We recognize the third, the Israeli flag, torn, tattered - a rag.

 Reihan checkpoint 07:50  Palestinian parking area   How are things?  Lousy.

Six vehicles with agricultural produce already passed from the parking area to the booth.  Two more wait in the parking area, key in the ignition.  A group of men stand in front of the yellow gate, on their way to the eastern part of Barta’a.  A security guard’s voice is heard from the booth:
Five by five.
Close the gate.
hat’s beeping?
So remove your shoes.
Kundara (“shoes” in Arabic)

In a few minutes all the groups of five had crossed.  A couple remained.  How are things?  One of them dictates: Things are lousy.

 At the end of our shift, on our way home, Netta and I are as usual depressed and place our bets:
Will there be peace? Will there be quiet? In our lifetime? You think so?