Leah R., Anna N.S.

Translator:  Charles K.


06:10  A’anin agricultural checkpoint

The first person just crossed; it seems the checkpoint has opened late again.  Many of those crossing are young.  They’re worried because the permits they received for the olive harvest are about to expire and they don’t know whether they’d be renewed.  These stresses and concerns result from the ways the occupation spices things up to ensure everyone behaves well.

One by one they spread the meager contents of the plastic bags they’re carrying out on the ground before the soldiers; the soldier’s hands are in his pockets, the female soldier leans against the concrete barrier on which the computer sits.

Home-made cigarettes are prohibited.  We telephone the DCO representative, who doesn’t answer.  Nor does the DCO. 


07:00  We leave after a few dozen people and three tractors have crossed, but no women.


07:10  Tura-Shaked checkpoint

The school transport arrives with the children who pour out in a run and go through the checkpoint to the village of Tura where the kindergarten and elementary school are located.  A few female students and older girls also cross, apparently to the college in Jenin.  Towards 07:30 the white collar workers cross to the West Bank – Palestinian Authority officials and bank employees.

The school bus driver asks the soldiers to inspect him quickly because the children are waiting.  Laborers and teachers cross from the West Bank to the seam zone.

One man keeps complaining that the checkpoint opens at 07:00, not at 06:00, and we keep responding that the mukhtar of Dahar al Malik has to take care of it with the Civil Administration.

A (really) nice soldier comes over to talk to us.  He serves here in order to ensure that the rights and the dignity of those crossing are preserved.  What naivety.  A bleeding heart from Tel Aviv.


07:40  The new Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint

People cross quickly; everything operates like a well-oiled machine.  People enter in groups of five and go through the revolving gate.  Once a sixth man tried to get in but the revolving gate stopped until the rebel retreated.  Ordnung muss sein.  One of the drivers says, “Charlie is A-OK.”  Charlie is the new checkpoint manager.  A young man from A’anin tells us the police stopped him near the Umm Reihan school and confiscated his agricultural crossing permit, saying he wasn’t allowed to be there.  Now he’s worried, doesn’t know when or whether he’ll get it back and how he’ll get home to A’anin.  We telephone the DCO representative, and the DCO, but there’s no answer.

Two pickup trucks wait to be inspected.  They entered before we left.

At the seam zone entrance to the terminal:  We’re told that today it takes only a few minutes to cross.

A few cars being inspected at the station on the road.  A little boy, the son of one of the drivers, climbs on the rock opposite the inspector.  He tries to peek in, touches the device that checks the magnetic card…the crossing is a game to him.  He’ll learn…


08:30  We left.