Reihan, Shaked, Thu 8.11.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
06:15 A’anin checkpoint
A glorious sunrise greets us over the village of A’anin, as usual. Many youths cross through the checkpoint (from A’anin, on the West Bank, to the seam zone). During this harvest season they’ve received for the first time day permits for the seam zone (agricultural permits). Everyone stops to talk to us, curious about where we’re from. They’re all familiar with Haifa, less so with Binyamina. It’s a generation that has never worked in Israel nor travelled around there. Some spoke English; we invited them to view our web site. Not all of them are going to pick olives in their families’ groves; some are construction workers and others are harvesting for pay in other groves. Their rides wait at the entrance to the road leading to the checkpoint. A young man about 20 who’s already come through the checkpoint wants to return to the village; we waited to insure they don’t make any problems for him (there were periods when the soldiers insisted that in the morning people could “only leave,” and return only in the afternoon). They didn’t make any problems.
07:00 Shaked checkpoint
The checkpoint, like the entire area, is covered in dense fog. Particularly heavy traffic from the seam zone to the West Bank, to Tura nearby or to Yabed and Jenin. No one is going in the other direction; everyone must have taken advantage of the earlier opening time for the olive harvest and already crossed. Pupils go through the middle of the checkpoint, not through the fenced corridor ("sleeve") or on the sidewalk, and this morning the soldiers didn’t even look at them or inspect their backpacks.
An achievement for Machsom Watch: The usually irate teacher from Dahar al Malk, who travels to Jenin each morning to work, and who, in our infrequent discussions, expresses disgust of anything Israeli, waves languidly to Neta with her muscular hand, at her own initiative, from her car, a slight, friendly gesture for the first time in our history.
07:30 Reihan checkpoint
People from the West Bank arrive quickly on foot or by vehicle, enter the fenced corridor to the terminal rapidly in groups of five and then come out to the seam zone. Few cross in the opposite direction. The number of cars indicates that many have already crossed by now, mostly to East Barta’a, the flourishing market town and its workshops. Hadi, who runs the stand at the checkpoint, sweeps the asphalt between customers (for pay), and says “God is good.” He pasted large Hebrew (!) letters on his car: There’s no one like my mother. (I’ll have to show it to my sons).