'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 25.10.12, Afternoon
Translation: Naomi Gal
The soldiers are already here, opening the checkpoint gates. About 20 people and three tractors are waiting to return to the village. They are returning earlier because it’s the eve of a Holiday – Eid el Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). Some children return with their fathers - schools were closed today. We are told that in the morning around 80 people crossed and that tomorrow, Friday, the checkpoint will be closed for the Holiday. During the rest of the holiday the checkpoint will be open during the regular hours of the olive harvest season.
12:15 The waiting people have already crossed, two more tractors arrive. Open until 13:00.
12:25Shaked – Torre
Little traffic on both sides of the checkpoint.
13:00Reihan – Barta’a, on the Palestinian side
The Palestinian parking lot is filled to capacity; we park in the makeshift paid parking lot up the road. They even have a makeshift kiosk selling coffee, tea and cigarettes.
Shouts are heard from the main parking lot. Anticipating the holiday, many bring their cars, trying to earn a few pennies giving people rides, but most people own cars, the number of licensed taxis is increasing, and there is not enough work for all.
Workers are returning early from their jobs at Barta’a or the Shaked industrial zone; many are carrying gift baskets, trays of fruits and vegetables,Coke bottles and even flowers. A group of seamstresses are returning from work, they all carry new blankets nicely wrapped; holiday gifts.
14:00 At the entrance to the terminal, seam line zone side
Four young detainees are sitting on a bench at the entrance to the terminal. They want to go back home for the holiday (apparently they do not have permits to stay in Israel or in the seam line zone). They have been waiting for an hour already. After 15 more minutes they are summoned inside. We did not see if or when they crossed to the West Bank.
One can sense the holiday spirit since the workers are returning early. We wish them Happy Holiday and they reciprocate with greetings and smiles.
14:25 We go up the sleeve. Workers are on their way down. A family in holiday outfits is on its way to the terminal. One of the children is taking his sweet time, enjoying the playground slide next to the parking lot on the seam zone side.