'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 19.7.12, Morning

Neta Golan, Shula Bar (reporting and photographing)

Translator:  Charles K.


06:10  A’anin checkpoint

An agricultural checkpoint open twice a week to residents of A’anin village with an agricultural or an employment crossing permit.  Only Einstein can explain the criteria for granting the permits, and in his absence, only someone from the DCO.  Why don’t those who cross year-round have their permits renewed immediately?  “Because now we’re introducing permits valid longer than three months; they’ll be valid until the olive harvest (October, approximately), and it’s complicated,” according to what the DCO said two weeks ago.  Inhabitants of A’anin cross here to their olive groves in the seam zone; others go elsewhere in the seam zone or to Israel.  They must return through this checkpoint by 15:30 the same day.  If not?  God help us. 

A hazy morning, the sun is strong, not terribly hot.  The crossing flows, except for one youth who was turned back.  A handful of children cross – on an agricultural permit?  An employment permit?  Some this, some that.


07:00  Dothan/Yabed checkpoint.

A vehicle checkpoint at the junction to Mavo Dothan and the road to Jenin.  Passage is unrestricted during most of the day.  Soldiers arrive at 07:00; they usually let people through without delays.  With nothing to report we made do with the sight of flags for the Dothan district and Israeli flags.  The nation as reflected in its banners


On the way to the Dothan checkpoint, in the blooming Dothan Valley, farmers in their tobacco fields weeding and picking ripe leaves to dry.  We drove in to see the tobacco leaves hanging to dry on lines.  It’s quiet, pastoral.


07:30  Reihan/Barta’a checkpoint

The largest checkpoint in the northwestern West Bank, a terminal with many booths, biometric identification, scanners, inspection rooms, an area for inspecting trucks.  The usual morning commotion at this hour, people crossing without feeling a human touch or hearing a human voice:  they lean on the yellow gate, go through the revolving gate, place their belongings on a table, they go through the scanner, pick up their belongings and are swallowed up in the terminal.

No lines.  The parking lot fills, trucks carrying food wait on the road.  Where are the regular drivers?  Only Mahdi, who owns the stand, welcomes us happily.


07:50  Shaked/Tura checkpoint.

No more people waiting at this hour, the checkpoint operates lazily.  All the improvements here make the megalomaniac occupation more ridiculous than efficient.  Every day another road sign, traffic light, fence, arrows and what not.