'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 24.12.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
06:20 Agricultural checkpoint
A Hummer parked at the checkpoint, its engine running loudly, all its lights blinking during our entire shift, just like last week. The army’s not tightening its belt. People are inspected at the middle gate to the checkpoint. About 30 people have already gone through; dozens still wait. Inspections are particularly rigorous. Those crossing are allowed to take with them only a small bag of food. A man about 50 years old throws an empty bag toward us. It contained a pair of trousers but the soldiers didn’t permit him to take them through; he threw them over the fence angrily. We telephoned Wahal at the DCO; he contacted the soldiers to change the orders and called us back to say the man can take the trousers. Too late.
06:30 Everyone waiting at the lower gate moves to the middle gate. The soldiers lock the lower gate.
About 30 people came through by 07:50, as well as two tractors. No merchandise came through today, neither oil or other such things, and the atmosphere is depressing.
07:10 Tura/Shaked checkpoint
We’re told that teachers at the Umm Reihan school (in the seam zone) struck for two days because they hadn’t been paid. The next strike is scheduled for the weekend – they’ll start teaching only at 10:00. We were also told about other employees of the Palestinian Authority who aren’t being paid, like police officer who, after not having received their salaries for two months, were paid for only half a month.
08:00 Barta’a/Reihan checkpoint
People leave for work in the seam zone and in Israel without being delayed. The road to Yabed is still closed because stones were thrown at soldiers last week.
Drivers wait lazily for passengers returning at this hour in the morning from a night shift in the industrial zone. We’re told of how people are in despair, men sitting depressed at home because they can’t find a job. Here, too, they talk about how the Palestinian Authority isn’t paying salaries, and even those who are able to get a job there earn almost nothing.
08:30 We left.