Reihan, Shaked, Wed 10.10.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint 06:00-06:45
Quiet and chilly, the Palestinian parking lot is clean, the “national park” sparkles, the public restrooms also gleam. The occupation stinks but manages at the same time to present a wonderfully sweet image. Electric gates open and close, electric revolving gates turn and stop, from time to time a metallic voice from the PA system cuts the air: Sakkar al bab [close the gate]..hamseh hamseh [five by five].
At this hour, six in the morning, the “workers” on their way to Barta’a come from throughout the West Bank: to the stores, the garages, the workshops. Others head to the industrial zone in the Shaked settlement. Most come by taxi. In another hour those who own shiny cars will arrive – maybe they’re “managers.” All the men, almost without exception, greet us warmly, “Good morning.”
A poster with a picture of a little boy, a shahid, hangs on a pole. He was murdered in a dispute between families in Jenin. It’s a PLO poster, “because,” we were told, “the boy’s father is a PLO activist.” “It’s all politics,” said another.
Few cross to the West Bank.
Shaked-Tura checkpoint 06:50 – 07:25
The olive harvest has begun so the checkpoint opens at 06:00, an hour before we arrive and an hour earlier than usual. Only pupils and teachers are crossing now, trying to get to school by 08:00.
Some young pupils (elementary school) arrive from Dahar al Malak, the nearby locality, on their way to school in Tura. They meet our “good morning” (in fluent Arabic) with looks of disgust, provocatively sticking out their tongues. Pretty girls, young, dressed so nicely, already know how to express burning hatred of strangers. We understand that’s also part of our job – not only to protest the occupation but also to absorb the locals’ hatred, to represent al Yahud. Those aren’t the girls in the photo.