'Anin, Mevo Dotan (Imriha), Reihan, Shaked, Tue 30.11.10, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
06:00 A’anin checkpoint
About 50 people crossed since 05:30, and about 30 more, two tractors and two donkeys since we arrived. Tires lie at the checkpoint entrance, evidence of the prohibition against bringing them into A’anin. One of those crossing has an olive grove next to the fence but he’s not allowed to harvest them this year. Last year he was allowed. Another has a crossing permit but says he can apply to renew it only on the day its validity expires, and has to wait a month before he gets the new permit. In the past we’ve raised the issue with the DCO commanders, but nothing happened. Now he has to wait more time and money traveling to the DCO in the hope that the permit will ultimately be renewed.
The children from the wadi walk up with their schoolbooks open before them. There are exams now and they spend every minute reviewing the material. Their ride to school in Umm Reihan comes at 7, and from there they’ll go to the Shaked checkpoint to cross to the school in Tura. One man complains about an olive grove damaged by grazing cows; he has to keep working in the grove after the harvest ends to take care of the trees. Will he get a permit?
Three Hummers arrive at the checkpoint, and people aren’t allowed to cross until they drive off.
06:45 Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint
In the middle of the central plaza of the checkpoint an electric Hanukkah menorah has been erected, so the Palestinian people will be happy on the Jews’ holiday.
Merchants and workers arrive in groups from the West Bank and are swallowed up in the checkpoint on their way to Barta’a. There’s an announcement posted on the fence that the checkpoint will close at 8 in the evening because of the Festival of Lights, thank you, and Happy Holiday. The checkpoint fills up as 8 approaches. A slight uproar near the booth. The guard tries to explain to an old man what he should do with his blue bags: take them, place them, open, close. He doesn’t understand and delays others who are shouting instructions from afar.
A guard arrives. Because of the uproar and the delay, we thought – but no. A guard who saw us talking on the phone notified the administration that we’re photographing the secret checkpoint. We told him that when we do take photographs, we’ll be sure to tell him.
07:15 Shaked-Tura checkpoint
The checkpoint operates according to the usual routine; each actor knows his part: when to drive forward, on which side to cross, who goes where and when and who approaches the soldiers directly with satchels gaping. The efficiency is frightening.
08:00 Mavo Dothan checkpoint
The locked yellow gates on the roads to Kafin and Zabde are still in place. We wonder why and wherefore? Maybe they’ve been forgotten?
We approach the checkpoint slowly. Soldiers come over to us to find out who we are. We were only wondering, they sneered, and returned to their positions. The crossing is paved, inspections are random. On returning to the Reihan checkpoint we see a number of pickup trucks loaded with food and a few cars waiting for inspection.
08:30 We left