'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tayba-Rummana, Thu 25.7.13, Morning
Translation: Charles K.
A hazy morning, the checkpoint is already open, people going through, everyone happy to see us even though we didn’t bring them clothing. A farmer asks for help obtaining a permit to go through the distant Tura/Shaked checkpoint with a tractor on days when this checkpoint is closed. He must water his trees, and how can he bring water to his groves? He’s allowed to cross on foot, as if a tractor was only a toy and not an indispensable tool. And to allow a farmer to reach his olive grove only twice a week is simply unforgivable malicious harassment.
06:45 Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint
The checkpoint is open, very orderly. Everyone parks very considerately or exits the taxis from the West Bank and is immediately swallowed up in the terminal without waiting. People go through the terminal quickly. But we should remember, and keep repeating: only people with permits may go through here, and permits aren’t easy to obtain. Many cross here, but many more would like to do so and can’t.
07:20 We visited a compound belonging to a farming family which grows tobacco and raises sheep – a father and his two wives, children and grandchildren. The place looks pretty pitiful; the little ones smiling and captivating as usual. They hid their surprise at our visit and invited us to drink sweet tea. One of the sons, Imad, told us he’d been jailed for three months in the Damoun prison near Haifa for driving without a license. He also received a suspended sentence – prohibited from entering Israel for five years. Two years have passed. In the interim he worked for an Israeli Arab who fired him without paying three months of his salary (NIS 6000). He hired an attorney, but the case hasn’t yet come to court.
Photo: Tobacco leaves drying
08:00 Tayibe-Rummaneh checkpoint
A tractor and some people wait on the eastern side of the checkpoint, as if they hadn’t moved since we were here two weeks ago. A Border Police jeep arrives while we were telephoning brigade headquarters to ensure they won’t arrive late like they did the last time. Astounded at our presence, not understanding what we wanted, it took them a quarter of an hour of inquiries about what to do with us. Finally a delegation arrived: a female border guard and three males, all of them polite. OK, they said, you can remain but you’re not allowed to photograph because it’s a closed military area (we’d already finished photographing). If it’s a closed military area, we asked, how come Palestinians are going through? We didn’t receive an answer. The few people waiting were allowed to cross at 08:15.
Photo: Border Police at the Tayibe-Rummaneh checkpoint, finally letting people through.