'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Sun 21.11.10, Morning

Leah and Ruthie, (reporting)

6:20 – 8:00

6:20  A’anin checkpoint (Ruthie reporting)
People wave to us at the A’anin checkpoint.  This morning the area between the gatesinfo-icon seems deserted, inspection takes place beyond the middle checkpoint, but a slight movement in its direction brings an immediate reaction from a soldier who scolding forbids us.  Four tractors cross in ten minutes, including one renowned for his red hair who tells us of the problems he had obtaining a permit.  The one he got is valid for only 6 months.  The pupils from the wadi arrive at 6:30.  While waiting for the blue van that will take them to school in Reihan, the girls write their names and mine in Arabic and English in my notebook.

6:30  Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint (Leah)
People arriving at the terminal entrance come in immediately.  A few come after the night shift in the seam zone.  Crossing is efficient this morning.  Five pickup trucks loaded with vegetables in the parking lot.  A., the driver, tells us about a seamstress from Jenin who’d worked a long time in a clothing factory in Barta’a, and as soon as she got married her permit was cancelled, or taken from her.  Meanwhile she’d divorced, has been left alone without family or support, and still has no permit or employment

6:55  Shaked-Tura checkpoint (Ruthie)
The gate is open; a flock of goats crosses.  7:05  Y, driving the blue van, arrives with 22 children.  They line up next to Shir, the MP, who greets them with “How about a good morning.”  All cross by 7:10 and Y drives on two minutes later, to pick them up again on the other side of the fence.  Two armed soldiers follow me in the olive grove next to the checkpoint.  They ask if I intend to take photographs.  No, at the moment I’m looking for a bus, you see.  They leave me alone.  Later a soldier yells at me from inside the checkpoint that photography is forbidden.  He’s informed of his error.  At 7:14 a yellow taxi with 6 male and 6 female students.  For some reason, the males go to the front of the line.  A soldier calls to them, in Arabic, “One by one.”  The taxi driver who’s finished inspection is surprised to see his passengers still by the gate.  “Yalla,” he calls to them.  Now they’re allowed to enter the inspection room in pairs.  Shir is observed paging through a folder that was in a teacher’s car.  This morning she’s smiling, and also intellectually curious.  A soldier announces the arrival of two children (from the solitary house).  Shir stands to receive them.  Inspects their satchels.  At 7:28 the last female student approaches the inspection room.  Youths aged about 14 arrive at 7:35.  Shir supervises from the side as their satchels are inspected by two soldiers.  At 7:40 the checkpoint is quiet.

7:50  A school in Umm Reihan  (Leah and Ruthie at morning assembly)
We’re invited to the school in Umm Reihan by a teacher Leah met at the Barta’a checkpoint and to whom she gave a ride to his school.  The children are lined up in the school courtyard.  Children read or recite from a small stage situated on the steps leading to the second storey.  A march sounds over the loudspeaker.  A boy leads brief morning gymnastics.  Meanwhile a supervisor arrives and politely explains to us that we’re not allowed to be on school grounds without permission from the Palestinian Education Ministry.  The teacher who invited us was embarrassed, and we left apologizin