'Anin, Mevo Dotan (Imriha), Reihan, Shaked, Thu 16.8.12, Morning
Translator: Charles Kamen
06:10-06:40 A’anin checkpoint
A chilly Palestinian morning greets us. Younger men have now joined the veterans coming through, crossing happily for the first time with their own permits. A bitter joy, an achievement testifying to the great injustice occurring here. Everyone greets us in friendship. MP’s with a hand scanning wand check the men going through. One says – aren’t they ashamed? What, am I going [to bomb] Tel Aviv? A young man complains emotionally that his elderly father didn’t receive a new crossing permit. He points to those waiting: They receive theirs, my father doesn’t? But he leaves without waiting for us to take down the information. Another resident of A’anin, who had gone to visit relatives in Umm Reihan, after a liver or kidney transplant in Egypt, says – why do they close at 06:30? I want them to stay open until 07:00! But he also realizes he’s only letting off steam; it won’t help.
The sun rises behind me. The clouds are lovely, as usual, but it’s hard to really get excited
when everything here is depressing, again and again, year after year.
06:50 – 7:35 Shaked/Tura checkpoint
The soldiers trail slowly up the road to the checkpoint. The checkpoint itself is closed and locked. Goats wait on our side, large, fat male sheep on the Tura side (it appears to be their last day on earth). Silence, not a baa or a mehh. Once people begin crossing the operation proceeds slowly and
07:30 Reihan checkpoint.
We passed without entering; the line of commercial vehicles wait to go through and have their merchandise inspected, passenger vans wait for customers, people behave as they do during Ramadan – wearily. Everything goes like clockwork, like a Swiss watch or a time bomb.
We entered Ya’abed. It’s too early for this (still) sleepy town, another large rural commercial center between Barta’a and Jenin. A colorful structure whose construction has apparently been suspended caught our eyes. In the center of town we met an affable woman and her daughter. We gave them a ride home, gave them toys, games and some clothing.
08:15-08:30 Dothan/Ya’abed checkpoint
The checkpoint is manned, the soldiers either allow or prohibit vehicles to cross and we’re unable to understand how they decide to operate so lazily. There are always cars waiting, but briefly. Two soldiers approached to ask politely whether “we need anything.” No, thanks.
Ramadan ends in two or three days, the holiday will be over and people will be less distracted, more awake in the morning.
08:35 Reihan checkpoint
Still there, frozen, motionless, unchanged.
Regards from Walid, black as coal from head to foot, attempting to maintain a façade of “everything’s ok,” but we know it isn’t…
Another Ramadan has ended. But not the occupation.