'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 13.9.12, Morning
06.05 A'anin CP
The gates of the CP are already open. People are going through. A few have plastic bags in their hands with changes of clothes. Those with bags are allowed to go through only after they have left them behind. Why? Because the clothes for changing are proof that "the owners of the clothes intend to stay in Israel!" That is what the DCO representative, Wahl, tells us. He says that every landowner has the right to go through to his land, even if there is no field work right now. He adds that olive-picking will begin on the 15/10. Five young men are not allowed to go through. We do not know why. We could not ask Wahl.
It is hard to see what is happening in the CP because so much construction work is going on. There is very little traffic, either vehicles or pedestrians, in both directions. The teacher arrives in his battered car and advances to the CP gate. He is required to go back and to wait on the other side of the ridiculous pedestrian crossing. After a second he is called to enter the area of the CP. Unluckily for him his car stops (usually they have to push him to get the car going again). A new luxury car, on the other hand, is allowed to wait near the gate.
07.30 The school children arrive on foot from Daher el-Malek in the seamline zone, bright and happy. They go through to Tura on the West Bankquickly and without having any inspection. The school teachers in Umm–a-Reihan arrive from the West Bank. Their ride is waiting for them. The principal also arrives and they drive off.
07.55 Reihan-Barta'a, Palestinian Side
The parking lot is already full. Workers in Barta'a arrive from all areas of the West Bank. They are swallowed up in the terminal in vehicles and on foot. There are practically no people going through in the other direction. At this hour, in the hut between the gate and the building, there sits a courteous security guard-inspector, who says thank you in Hebrew to everybody whose bag he asks to see.
A taxi driver tells us how difficult it is to earn a livelihood because of the rise in the price of fuel. He says that the average salary in the West Bank is NIS 2000, and he knows that in Israel, the minimum salary is NIS 4000. He says that the prices on the West Bank are high and there are many expenses at the start of the school year.
08.30 We leave. Many taxis are waiting for passengers from East Barta'a on the side of the seamline zone.