'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 13.9.10, Morning

Leah R., Anna N.S. (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.

06:00  A’anin agricultural gate
About 25 men and women and a few tractors wait in the middle of the checkpoint.  The inspection is very slow.  Pockets turned out, shirts raised, bags and satchels opened.  People leaving aren’t entered into the computer, for some reason.  But every tractor is still inspected carefully.  People say their permissions still haven’t been renewed.  They have no idea when the olive harvest will begin.  They ask about our holidays in order to plan for the closureinfo-icon that will be imposed on them.  Five youths were sent back home.  A relatively large number of children accompany their parents to the olive groves.  It’s the last day of summer vacation.  School starts tomorrow.

An old man walks alongside a donkey ridden by a young boy.  As they walk along a cute young donkey foal climbs up the hill and attaches himself to her.  The old man tries to chase it away, to no avail.  The boy is excited, and so are we.  “Hada ibenha” he calls excitedly – it’s her son.  They give up and continue on their way, the foal walking alongside his mother.

06:45  Inspection ends and the checkpoints close.

07:00  Tura checkpoint (Shaked)
People cross.  The usual routine.  Y. says the soldiers are ok, but not the MP.

We meet one of Yuval’s Angels who’s come from Jerusalem to take a sick girl to Hadassah hospital, and bring her back.

The soldiers cooperate with her, and as soon as the girl’s family arrives she’s called to meet them inside the checkpoint without unnecessary waiting or delay.  They’re to be commended!

07:25  Muntar
We run into an acquaintance and drive with him to visit his family in Muntar, on the way to Barta’a.  It’s a small village, a few houses – a few dozen members of the Kabha family.  An unpaved dirt road, piles of logs along the way waiting to be turned into charcoal; a chicken house, a sheepfold.  The magnificent scenery and clear air make the peaceful scene appear pastoral, though it isn’t.  We’re met by warm and open people who gather around to talk.  One neglected, needy family, no electricity; they buy tanks of water in Barta’a - like others living in the seam zone.  One of the women, 31 years old, sits opposite us with her son.  She’s fully veiled; her religious husband demands she dress that way when outside the home.

08:30  New Barta’a (Reihan)
Laborers cross through the checkpoint without waiting; the woman from Muntar to whom we gave a ride is going to Jenin – she goes through the checkpoint in 15 minutes.A few drivers waiting for passengers.  One is accompanied by his six-year-old son who’ll enter first grade tomorrow and is excited.

08:45  Hermesh checkpoint
A vehicle checkpoint on the road to Kafin and Tulkarm.Five cars waiting to go to Tulkarm, while cars cross going to Jenin.  Cars go through quickly, without unnecessary delays.

09:00 – New Barta’a – Reihan – on our way back
Many young people and families continue to come and go through the fenced corridor; they hadn’t seen each other because of the closure during the Jewish holidays; they’re taking advantage of the last day of school vacation to take their children for visits in Barta’a.When we walked back and forth through the corridor we met people waiting for their vehicles to be inspected in the vehicle area – as we passed the gatesinfo-icon opened and ten vehicles exit after a thorough inspection.  Not all of them are trucks loaded with food.  “I’ve been waiting here more than an hour,” blurts out one of them.