'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 27.2.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
06:10 A’anin agricultural checkpoint
People still complain about delays in getting their long-term crossing permits renewed. The reason for the delay isn’t clear, nor is it clear why they continue to get the run-around when they try to renew their permits, when they’ll eventually be renewed anyway. The business of permits creates a great deal of bitterness, also among family members who receive them only in certain seasons for a restricted period of time, and in very limited numbers.
People cross as they always do; there’s nothing new. The soldiers are used to it; the machinery of occupation operates flawlessly.
06:40 The checkpoint closes.
07:00 Tura-Shaked checkpoint
People are held up in the inspection building a little longer than usual, perhaps because of the computer. The crossing flows in both directions. The young schoolchildren arrive at the checkpoint on foot, not with their usual ride. A few of the little girls stick their tongues out at us provocatively as they pass by. All of them dutifully open their schoolbags for the soldiers, as they’re supposed to, and then continue on their way.
08:00 New Barta’a checkpoint
About 15 cars wait at the middle checkpoint for their inspection to be completed. Loaded pickups and trucks wait at the checkpoint or on the road. A small group of taxi drivers chat with one another while they wait for people returning to the West Bank after working the night shift, hoping to earn a few shekels. They’re at home here with despair, but they no longer bother to tell us about the hardships – though they occasionally joke about them bitterly. The road to Yabed is still blocked by an iron bar. The local council is trying to convince the authorities to open it.
We go over to the fenced corridor to wait for people exiting the terminal to the seam zone. Everything’s going particularly slowly today, people are stuck inside the terminal and we hear their voices. When they exit, holding their belts in their hands, they complain about being delayed for a long time on their way to work. People who’d already gone through await them farther up the road, to continue together. The checkpoint manager is aware of the delay; he tells us on the phone that there’s been a hitch, “nothing can be done about it.”
During the 45 minutes we were there, about 70 people crossed to the seam zone – most of them laborers. Very few crossed to the West Bank.
09:15 We left.