'Anin, Mevo Dotan (Imriha), Reihan, Shaked, Thu 2.6.11, Morning

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Rivka and Marina (guests), Shula Bar (photographing), Netta Golan (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.

06:10  A’anin checkpoint
A few farmers who’ve already gone through are walking on the road toward their fields.  Only about 15 people and three tractors wait to cross, out of the hundreds of farmers who have fields beyond the separation fence.  The white DCO vehicle is also at the checkpoint.

The children of the Bedouin family that lives near the checkpoint arrive without schoolbags.  The school year has ended.  There are exams.  The girls review the material as they walk (see photo).

06:40  Everyone from A’anin has crossed.  The children wait for their ride to the school in Umm Reihan.

06:50  Shaked-Tura checkpoint
We arrive at the checkpoint at the same time as the soldiers, and the white DCO vehicle arrives on the security road.  They open it at 07:00.  The elegant teacher and his battered cart (Fiat 127) already wait to cross to the West Bank, as they do every day.  A small group waits on the Tura side.  The goats wait patiently, quietly.  Here, too, are pupils holding books on their way to exams.  Good luck!

A wedding car decorated with flowers and red hearts crosses from the seam zone to the West Bank (see photo).  It undergoes inspection – no discounts for anyone.  Congratulations!

07:30  On our way to the Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint, a group of Israeli cyclists ride toward us.  That’s also a form of occupation and annexation.


07:40  We pass the Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint.  A few trucks and pickups are in the inspection area.  Six more wait at the vehicle checkpoint, and another four in the Palestinian parking lot.

Up the hill, opposite the village of Zabde, the yellow gatesinfo-icon are locked.  Their job is to block the road to Qafin-Tulkarem to the south and to Zabde to the north.  About 15 cars parked beyond the southern gate.  The drivers preferred to avoid the long detour to reach the checkpoint, and parked here.  They’ll walk a short distance on foot, or pay 2-3 shekels for a taxi.

07:50  Dothan checkpoint.
Cars go through in both directions.  A captain in the reserves approaches us, concerned for our safety.

We drove through the settlement of Mavo Dothan to show our guests.  Many abandoned buildings, crumbling, left by the original residents.  But it would be premature to rejoice – it’s clear that a new wave of settlers has moved in – young religious families with many infants.

08:15  Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint
The Palestinian side -  Already the parking lot is almost full.  Those now arriving enter the terminal immediately.
08:25  The seam zone side -  Minibus taxis wait for passengers next to the upper parking lot.  Workers who already went through the terminal wait opposite them for the vehicles that transport them, which are still being inspected.  We walk through the fenced corridor to the terminal entrance.  People come toward us, apparently headed to Barta’a.  They say that crossing goes quickly.  One man is angry he wasn’t permitted to bring a package of shirts.  Few cross to the West Bank at this hour.  All use a single, “two-way” revolving gate.  The other revolving gate isn’t working.

Ali’s father comes up through the fenced corridor.  We’ll take him to visit his son who’s hospitalized in Rambam.  The boy has leukemia and is waiting for a bone marrow transplant.  One of his brothers is an appropriate donor.  We all wish him a speedy recovery.

09:00  We visit our friend, V., at one of the charcoal manufactories.  Ali’s father takes the opportunity to explain the traditional charcoal-making process, which they’ve been using here for about 150 years.

09:15  We return home via eastern Barta’a.  The market street begins coming to life at this hour.  Our guests look for large straw baskets.  There aren’t any.  Barta’a boasts of plastic baskets.