'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Thu 14.3.13, Afternoon
The Military Police dictates fashion rules to the Palestinian Farmers
05:55 A'anin CP
At this CP, Palestinian farmers from the village of A'anin (on the West Bank), holding permits for agricultural work in the seamline zone (that is to say, for working on their own lands which are separated from the village by the fence), go through, as well as others who have permits to work in the seamline zone.
The gates are open. The first person goes through. Inspection is done near the middle gate. We approach and are courteously banished. The passage is very slow. A few are not allowed to go through. Two of those going through tell us that some people were returned to the village because they did not have a valid permit. and others were turned back because their clothes were too new and too nice(!) - not suitable for agricultural work, according to the soldiers.
One of the people going through offers us coffee that he pours from his thermos.
A father is not allowed to take his 12-year-old son with him. The military policewoman says that heis not his son, and the proof is that the father does not know his son's I.D. number by heart! The man has eight small children, all listed in his identification card, and unfortunetaly he can't remember all those numbers.
We call the DCO (the civil administration that manages the Palestinians' lives) in connection with the limitations on Palestinian men's fashions; The DCO advises us to ask at the brigade. In the brigade they say that it is a matter for the military police and they will ask about it there.
In regard to the father's short memory, not remembering his sons' I.D. numbers, the DCO tells us that it is possible to demand that the father remember his children's names, but not their I.Dsnumbers. The father left on his way quickly and did not wait for our information. He sent his son back to the village immediately.
The Bedoui children come up to the CP from their encampment and wait for a ride to school. We leave before the passage of A'anin residents ends.
07:05 Tura-Shaked CP
School children, students and adults are going through from the seamline zone (the area imprisoned between the separation fence and the green line, Area C) to the West Bank. Many are waiting near the turnstile at the entrance to the inspection hut. Here, too, the passage is slow. One person tells us that he does not feel well; he told this to a military policewoman and she told him to bring a note from a doctor. In the end, she gave in and let him go through without stopping in the inspection hut and she also was willing to give up on the doctor's note (the nearest doctor is in Jenin....).
07:50 Palestinian side of the Reihan-Barta'a CP
We do not want to get stuck in the big parking lot, the one close to the CP, because it is full and bursting at the seams. We park in a private lot (usually for a fee) which is about half a kilometer further on as the road rises, and we are given the privilege of parking without paying.
On our way from the parking lot to the CP we pass eight trucks waiting for inspection. The drivers share breakfast on the open door in the back of one of the trucks. They invite us to have pita with humus and beans and a cucumber. We learn from them that inspection of the trucks begins at 08:00 and that two groups of trucks are already being inspected. They have been waiting for two and a half hours. Drivers of the first group who have already entered parked their vehicles here at night.
08:20 We climb up to the parking lot. A bus with schoolgirls from East Barta'a passes the CP and turns into the upper parking lot. The schoolgirls remain in the bus, eating and playing their darboukas (Arab drums). The driver tells us that the girls are on their way to Tul-Karem and they are waiting for an additional bus, which has not received a permit to go through yet.
08:35 The second bus goes through and we go home.
On our way home, we pick up a hitchhiker near Katzir. It turns out that he lives in one of the 'privately-owned farms in Shaked. We did not know such a thing existed. As we drive, Yoaz Hendel speaks on the radio about the implementation of a new right-wing organization which will monitor human rights at the CPs, or as he puts it, under the auspices of Zionist citizens of the state. This, of course, reminds us that on the Left, there are no Zionists.
A fantastic ending to a morning in the occupation.