'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 15.3.12, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
15:00 A’anin checkpoint
The checkpoint gates are open. Several people and four tractors begin crossing. One tractor driver approaches us; he has a problem. He wants to bring through an old rug he spreads on the ground of the grove. It got muddy; he wants to take it home and rinse it off. The soldiers won’t let him bring it through because it’s only an agricultural checkpoint. We telephone Wahel, from the DCO, who convinces the soldiers to let the rug through.
Another tractor driver wants to bring in four containers of used oil he obtained in Umm Reihan. Forbidden. We call Wahel again, thank him for his help regarding the rug and ask him to help with the oil. This time he refuses. There’s no way to inspect the containers at the A’anin checkpoint. He suggests arranging a one-time permit for the driver to go through the (distant) Shaked checkpoint this coming Monday, where he’ll be able to bring in the oil. The tractor driver doesn’t agree. He says he’ll wait on the bench in the shed next to the checkpoint until Monday. He prepares for a long wait in the cold, and puts on an additional pair of pants.15:40 Meanwhile, the soldiers are dealing with someone who’s been detained, we don’t know for what reason. They release him, telling him to go to the Salem DCO on Monday.
The soldiers telephone Wahel, from the DCO. They don’t know what to do about the stubborn tractor driver. Wahel speaks to him, manages to convince him to return home today without the oil. He drives off to conceal the oil at a distant, hidden location until Monday, when he’ll be able to bring it through at Shaked. An officer, a soldier, a female MP and another female soldier wait.
16:00 The tractor driver returns to the checkpoint and crosses without the oil. The soldiers lock the gates. We regret having neither the skill nor the ability to adequately describe this absurd spectacle.
16:10 Shaked-Tura checkpoint
A relatively large amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Four soldiers walk along the fence and turn toward Tura; we don’t know why. A truck coming from the West Bank isn’t allowed through. Three girls and a woman with a toddler wait in the shed for a car, being inspected at the checkpoint, which will bring them to Umm Reihan. In the meantime, one of them offers jellybeans to us and to the toddler.
16:40 Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint, seam zone side
We’re surprised no one is waiting at the entrance to the terminal. An infant’s cries can be heard from within. We didn’t see the infant and mother emerging. A young woman sat on the terminal bench; we assumed she was waiting for them. We weren’t able to ask. Laborers come through the fenced corridor and enter immediately. Two inspection stations are open; people go through quickly. A few cross to the seam zone.
17:10 We left the checkpoint. Vehicles bringing laborers continued to arrive.