'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan, Sat 26.10.13, Morning
A'anin Checkpoint – 07:30
We drove to A'anin to see whether the checkpoint was open on Saturdays during the olive harvest. At this hour (07:30) the checkpoint was closed and there was not a soul in sight. No one was in the olive groves and only half a dozen donkeys were grazing in the fields. Possibly we had made gotten the time wrong. A military vehicle was parked in front of the yellow gate but no one got out when we arrived.
Shaked – Tura Checkpoint – 07:45-08:15
There are a lot of people crossing and those from the West Bank appear to be on their way to the olive harvest. A group of people tells us excitedly about a marvelous plant that grows in Tura, evidently ephedra, that supposedly can cure cancer. The branches of the plant are in a plastic bag. We are told there was a story about the plant that had appeared on Israeli TV.
Reihan – Barta'a – 08:25-08:45
There is a lot of traffic going in both directions. We didn't time how long it took people to cross through but we were told that things were going smoothly. We met Amjad and Mari in the parking lot, waiting for a ride.
09:00 – Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint
The checkpoint is not manned and traffic is moving through without delay. There is only a huge armored army bulldozer standing at the checkpoint. The olive harvest is under way in the groves along the road. At the pillbox near the blocked road to Yaabed there are two soldiers. One, from the Nili brigade, explains that he is protecting us and all Israelis, and that we must drive on because this is a dangerous place. On our way back we stopped to photograph the soldiers and the roadblock, and the religious soldier asked us not to take photographs out of respect for the Sabbath and for him.