'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 5.12.11, Morning

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

Translator: Charles K.

06:10 A’anin agricultural checkpoint

The olive harvest is over. The checkpoint is again open at the usual hour, Monday and Thursday morning from 06:00. Most permits are valid until the end of the month.

About 60 men and women go through the checkpoint during our shift, going to work despite the extreme cold. Among them is the amiable old man, with a new donkey that’s also old (its predecessor has been stolen). Both limp toward the olive grove. We’re told that the soldiers refused entry to a woman and two children, aged five and seven. We weren’t able to learn more because the woman gave up and returned home.

06:50 Ten women come through the checkpoint on their way to work in the grove; their trees are adjacent to each other and they gladly help one another.

We left as the checkpoint was preparing to close; a few people still hadn’t gone through.

07:15 Shaked-Tura checkpoint

Here, too, the hours are back to the usual timetable. The checkpoint is open in the morning from 07:00 to 10:00. Most of those leaving are teachers and pupils, and only a few others, may be because it’s so cold.

A man asks us to help him obtain a permit for his wife. The couple lives in Tura. The woman has had a crossing permit for years, but for the past six months she’s been refused one. The man went to the Palestinian DCO a number of times, but they couldn’t tell him why she’d been refused. We telephone the DCO; a polite soldier says he doesn’t see any reason for the refusal and suggests we call the officer in charge of these matters in a few days to find out.

A man employed at maintaining buildings in the Shaked settlement tells us that the settlement is growing; they’re now in the fourth round of expansion. In fact, we noticed signs on our way here offering land ready for building at a bargain price.

07:30 New Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint

We don’t see any vehicles transporting agricultural produce, which is unusual. A pile of egg cartons under the canopy, a few people negotiating, and finally one of the drivers loads the eggs into his pickup truck. Taxi drivers nap in their vehicles. People arrive at the parking lot and are immediately swallowed by the terminal. The occupation routine triumphs.

At 08:00 we leave to pick up a father and daughter, to take them to the hospital.