'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Thu 4.7.13, Afternoon
Translation: Devorha K.
15:00 A'anin CP
The checkpoint is open already, and people are going through. Today, they allow people to transport bags of second-hand clothing and even old plastic chairs do not constitute a danger to state security (see reports: 01/07, 13, 20, 24/06).
Our friend, the owner of many plots of land, tells us that he is the only farmer from A'anin who goes through the Tura CP on days when the A'anin CP is closed. He doesn't come by tractor (not allowed) but by car driving the long way round through Tura and from there he hitchhikes or walks a few kilometers to his olive grove.
15:35 Tura-Shaked CP
A tobacco grower complains that he cannot transport his dried tobacco leaves from his field in the seamline zone to the factory on the West Bank where they prepare tobacco for cigarettes. Coordination and transportation by a vehicle with a permit for transporting goods are required. He says that that would cost him NIS600, and that is all the profit he makes from the tobacco.
Practically nobody is going through. There are unnecessary sheds and traffic lights.
15:55 Barta'a-Reihan CP, seamline zone side
Two older people go down with us to the terminal They both worked in construction in Israel for about 20 years. They both now have permits to work and stay in the seamline zone (not in Israel) in East Barta'a. One of them says that he doesn't have a chance of getting a permit to work in Israel because he has no children.
At the end of the Sleeve, near the opening of the terminal there is a surprise: a turnstile through which people go to the other side of the CP (to the West Bank) rather than through the terminal. On the other side of the turnstile, there are instructions to go to the 'post for inspection of permits. We did not understand who has to go to the post and who is exempt. The new arrangement was implemented today for the first time and people still are not aware of how it works. There is a sign, but many people do not notice it. There are people who think that the new arrangement is only for those who have work permits in Israel, they don't believe that it could be for all of them. There are some who insist on going through the terminal and are sent back outside ... A few fear that there will be problems because they will not have a stamp indicating that they have returned from the West Bank. We hope not.
People greet us warmly; there are some who believe that the procedures for returning to the West Bank have been eased thanks to us. It is very embarrassing. One woman says: I love you.
A delegation came from the crossing administration to check on the new procedures. When they entered the terminal the inspector became very nervous and by mistake she closed off passage through the new turnstile. She calmed down and opened it.
17:00 We went up the sleeve and told people to go straight out, not through the terminal. They were surprised.
On the way home we saw the demolished house at the Ar'ara junction. Unfortunately we did not turn there. We will try to get to the demonstration on Monday.