'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 5.11.12, Morning
Translation: Naomi gal
The checkpoint opens at 5.30 am and again at 3 pm. We are told that before we arrived a few dozen people have already crossed from the village of A’anin to the Seam Zone. We encounter new faces, young and smiling, who for the first time received permits to stay in the Seam Zone (for 12 hours only) in their own right. The checking is conducted at the far gates in the center of the checkpoint, hence it is hard to keep track, but it seems that people are not detained. One of the farmers tries to take across a few containers of fresh olive oil in his tractor, but the soldiers refuse to allow him, claiming that it is a "commercial quantity" that can only be transferred at the farther Reihan Checkpoint, and that he doesn’t have the required permits. Attempts to convince the DCO are in vain. Let us remember: transferring the oil containers is within the Palestinian area, but it is being blocked by the bearers of arms.
07:10 Shaked Checkpoint
The expansion here has no bounds, and the place gradually shapes up to look like an international terminal. Vive le petit difference!
At this time of day mainly teachers are crossing from the West Bank to the Seam Zone and only few cross to the West bank. We saw no students.
A charming puppy crosses the checkpoint from side to side, forbidden for us humans, unless we have a special permit.
One of the teachers tells us that sometimes the computer in the checking booth is disabled so the names of those crossing have to be hand-written. Then, as a result of disruptions and errors while updating the computer, some of the names are not recorded and when these people come back they are treated as if they never crossed in the first place.
07:45 Rihan Checkpoint
Clusters of people cross the checkpoint and are swallowed in the terminal, emerging after a few minutes on the other side in the Seam Zone. This monotonous routine, so matter of fact, as if everything is OK, is outrageous. The bored drivers are chatting among themselves. In the past they used to complain to us. They stopped, as if they have no more expectations.
6-8 vehicles with agricultural goods are waiting to be checked on their way to east of Barta'a.
The checkpoint is spotless. Hadi, the Palestinian laborer, makes sure it sparkles.
8:30 We left.