'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 29.8.11, Afternoon
Last day of the Ramadan
"May you fare well every year"
15.10 A'anin Agricultural CP
The CP is open, people and tractors are going through. Their possessions are being inspected very carefully. Even before we stopped the car, a tall thin man ran toward us, stuttering excitedly about the fact that his aunt from Umm-Reihan came today to his plot (of land), bringing his family three kilograms of meat as a gift for the holiday; but the soldiers are not allowing him to take it through. We call the DCO and within two minutes the commander of the Shaked regiment, a Lieutenant Colonel, appears with a security guard. He explains that you are not allowed to take meat that has not been examined by a veterinary to the West Bank, because its quality is doubtful. Our explanations that here the question is not one of security but a humanitarian issue, our attempt to appeal to his heart, did not suceed. He refuses/ does not want to/ follows orders. And a reminder: this is about meat from the C area, the seamline zone, to be taken to the village A'anin on the West Bank. In the meantime, a tractor driver arrives; he complains about the fact that the soldiers did not allow him to take a pile of used stuff (junk) to A'anin. The officer with snobbish modesty claims that HE does not have the tools for inspecting the toilets, to see if they have explosives in them. Five minutes before they close the CP he sends the tractor driver to unload the extra goods and agrees to postpone the CP closing until he comes back. In the meantime, an additional tractor arrives, with an old smelly mattress on it; the officer cannot inspect this for explosives either, and he has the same qualms about a pile of old clothes. All of these are thrown away in the nearby olive grove, and the tractor goes through.
The security staff waits for twenty military minutes dearer than gold for the return of the tractor. The man with the meat has already gone through with pitas instead – that is permitted, even if … the meat remained with us to return to the good aunt, but we continue our deaf and dumb conversation with the officer who answers our arguments with 'courtesy, with patience and with respect'.
16.10 Tura ('Shaked') CP
The CP is open. The stone path which crosses the CP has been expanded with reels of barbed wire. An old woman, on her way to the inspection pavilion, turns around to me and gestures toward the barbed wire, and asks in Arabic, "What is this?' She walks with difficulty, her feet hurt, but she is forced to cross the CP and take the long way home to Daher el Malek down the road from the CP and further on. A young mother with her six little children comes toward us. All of them went through inspection in the pavilion. All together only a few people went through the CP in both directions.
16.30 We leave, in the background we hear the voice of the Muezzin.
16.40 The New Barta'a ('Reihan') CP
We go to the sleeve to meet those returning to the West Bank from their daily labor. In the course of half an hour many go through with no delays as two windows are open. A few are detained and wait on a bench and after a short time, they too go through. The CP space is flowering, so much care is invested in it for us to admire. It almost distorts the general picture and hides the essence, and we are here in order to remind people. The watchtowers on the hill and another one in the area of the CP, the hut for inspecting the documents of the Palestinian drivers and the Israeli Arab drivers and their vehicles, the barriers in the road, concrete structures for the armed security guards, another CP on the way to the terminal, the parking lot, cameras tracking every movement in the area, a curving road leading to a pavilion for the inspection of goods; kennels, walls and fences curve and hide – what? A well cared for square with a shaded bench and an Israeli flag in the center. All of this instead of what was once an olive grove, or almond trees belonging to Palestinians. And perhaps we forgot something. It's not too important. The most important thing is to remember what was here before and who is served by this cultivated park!