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

Observers: 
Zafrira Zamir, Neta Golan (Reporting), Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
06/02/2014
|
Afternoon

                     

15:25 – A'anin Checkpoint
We arrived late because of heavy traffic on the way, and thought that perhaps we should not bother stopping at A'anin Checkpoint, which officially closes at 15:30.  To our surprise the soldiers were still there and no one had crossed yet.   Evidently the soldiers had not succeeded in opening the middle gate of the separation fence. Two soldiers stayed put while a second lieutenant, two soldiers, and a woman soldier went to get another key. The two soldiers who stayed attempted to unlock the gate, with no results.  Outside the gate the residents of A'anin – about a dozen men, three women, as well as half dozen tractors loaded with firewood, waited patiently.

 

15:45 – The officer and the soldiers returned with the key and managed to open the gate. We assumed that the 45-minutes delay would mean that people would cross quickly, but this was not so.  Everyone was checked, asked to open their coats, one person was asked to remove his hat, a bag of clothing was sent back, and the tractors were meticulously inspected.  They even opened the hoods.  It should be noted that these people were going to A'anin, in the West Bank – not to the seamline zone or to to Israel.  

 

At 16:25 everyone has crossed.  Luckily there were not a lot of people.  A soldier asked us what we thought about the crossing procedures and explained that the locks which the army provides are not very good.  

We fail to understand why it is necessary to check people so meticulously when they are returning to the West Bank, and not to Tel Aviv, and the soldier remarks, "Haven't you heard about 16-year-olds who come to school with knives?" (this happened in an Israeli school.) We fail to see the connection.

 

Shaked – Tura Checkpoint
A family from Um-Reihan crossed to the seamline zone in their car.  The 60-year-old grandfather brought a bag of tobacco for rolling his own cigarettes.  He may cross without the tobacco.  We called the Liaison and Coordination Administration and a polite woman soldier inquires about the matter.  The man is indeed a permanent resident of the seamline zone and there is a list of permanent residents who are permitted to bring tobacco.  The grandfather is not on the list.  

 

17:00 – Reihan – Barta'a Seamline Zone Side
A man at the entrance to the sleeveinfo-icon tells us that he has been detained as an illegal near the village of Um Kutuf, an Israeli Arab village in the region of Wadi Ara.  He was tried in Hadera and sentenced to two months' probation for three years.  He is now afraid to enter Israel. 

 

Workers are entering the terminal on their way home from work.  At 17:25 we ascend the sleeve on the way to our car in the parking lot. Two more people tell us that they have been caught as illegals and given probation.  One person descends to the terminal with a little boy all dressed up, with gel in his hair.  He says that it is wrong that a small child should go through the checkpoint.  He is right.