'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

Neta Golan, Shula Bar (reporting and photographing), Translator: Charles K.

06:06  A’anin checkpoint.  6 celsius degree.  Sunrise at 06:38 
The Palestinian village of A’anin is located about two km. southeast of Umm el Fahm (Arab-Israeli Town) in the Jenin(Palestinian city) sub-district.  Various reports and surveys put its population at 3000-4000 people, about 530 households.  The separation fence confiscated about 12,000 dunums of village land, about half of its agricultural land.  On those lands are olive and almond groves; some of it is rocky.

A satellite photo of the village shows the fence and security road surrounding it from south to north.  Highway 596 leads from the village center to the checkpoint where we have been observing and reporting since March, 2006.  From its inception as an agricultural checkpoint it has consistently opened twice a week for the benefit (that is to say, to the disadvantage) of farmers separated from their lands, except for two months during the olive harvest (when it’s open daily).  Limiting the farmers’ access to their land during most of the year is extremely damaging to their ability to make a living and to Palestinian traditions and one of the most serious and carefully planned injustices imposed by the Israeli occupation.


Permits valid here include:  an agricultural permit issued on the basis of proof of land ownership in the seam zone; a work permit allowing someone to remain in the seam zone from the morning to the afternoon.  Holders of these permits must return in the afternoon through this checkpoint or else the computer will flag them as being illegally in Israel, the permits will be rescinded and their holders will have to go through the entire procedure again to renew them – which, although they’ll know when it starts, they can’t know when it will be concluded.


There’s no barrier or military oversight between the fence and the entry to Israeli territory to prevent undesirable persons from entering Israel.  So the fence doesn’t prevent a Palestinian terror attack in Tel Aviv.  The IDF’s "sophisticated" response to the possible leakage of Palestinian terror into Tel Aviv through the A’anin checkpoint is the “outfit test.”  Tattered clothes are trustworthy: they’re a sign the person is on his way to work, and he’ll go through.  Being well-dressed is suspicious.  This morning we again heard of a well-dressed young man from A’anin who was sent home because he was suspected of intending to do something illegal somewhere.

Tel Aviv may rest easy.


The soldiers opened the checkpoint 15 minutes late.  Everyone who went through, without exception, from the youngest to Shafiq’s donkey, some more energetically, others less so, greeted us “Good morning” warmly, as usual.


06:55  Tura-Shaked checkpoint

The soldiers were late opening this checkpoint also.  Cars and pedestrians began gathering on both sides.  The first people crossed at 07:20.  Everyone in the morning is hurrying to work or school.  Because of the occupation’s restrictions many probably weren’t able to get here this morning either.  Unlike at A’anin, people here weren’t particularly excited to see us.


07:20  Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint

Nothing has priority over a suffering little child.  When we were notified that Ali already awaited us (to go to Rambam hospital) we abandoned our shift at Tura and hurried to pick him up at the Barta’a checkpoint.  It’s heartbreaking to see how he walks with difficulty, bent over, and to watch his devoted, exhausted parents.  When we went through the inspection area the guard checked to see what Ali had under his coat.  He discovered nothing suspicious.  Haifa may rest easy.