'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked
05:55 – A'anin Agricultural Checkpoint
The soldiers are busy opening the third gate at the lower part of the checkpoint. A vehicle is parked in the middle of the checkpoint with the motor running. No one is bothering to save fuel.
06:05 – Three tractors arrive, one after the other, and wait for the soldiers to open the locked gate where I am standing. They are followed by several young men. They tell me that only a few people cross because no one has permits. Their permits were either confiscated or ran out and were not renewed. One person shows me his permit that is valid until the end of the month. He has already asked to renew it and was told to wait. He is the only one in his family who has a permit to cross to their olive groves in the seam line zone, but he has not been promised a new permit.
The soldier who opened the gate stands next to it and listens to my conversations with people passing through. The area around the checkpoint is littered with clothes that our [Machsom Watch] friends brought Palestinians that people were not permitted to bring across to the village, and with other litter. The soldier claims that the army is not responsible for cleaning up the area around the checkpoint. He does not know why people are not permitted to bring clothing across the checkpoint. We were not here for two months, and perhaps the rules have changed. There is no representative from the Liaison and Coordination Administration here and the person responsible is a policewoman from the military police. The soldier reports that few people crossed today. I am reminded of a complaint that we submitted that only 800-1000 permits have been issued and there is a demand for many more from the farmers in the village. Things could always be worse. 15 people from A'anin and 3 tractors crossed the checkpoint.
At 06:25 we left. On the way we saw a pastoral view of cows grazing among the olive groves.
06:35 – Barta'a Checkpoint
16 trucks are waiting on the road, and have been here since yesterday evening. According to the drivers only one group of tenders has crossed since the checkpoint was opened. Several more tenders are waiting in the parking lot. Is this indicative of thriving business between the two sides of the checkpoint? The reality is that while the Palestinian drivers waste their time waiting on the road, Israeli cars pass through and are waved through even before they get to the gate. After all, who is in charge here?
Buses drop students and settlers off at the bus stop. They are waiting here for buses to take them to school and to other places in Israel. One woman waiting at the bus stop looks at me writing [my report] and shouts, "Look at her. Yes, write, take pictures and write. Every day people throw Molotov cocktails and stones at us…." I ignore her. Her ride arrives quickly to take her and the others to Israel.
Taxis arrive and workers disembark and disappear into the terminal quickly and then come out within ten minutes, or a bit longer.
The vendor at the "Bonjour" coffee kiosk is selling his wares to Palestinians in the fenced-in sleeve, and to others who walk about the checkpoint freely. It is a microcosm of an ocupied area.
07:30 – Tura Checkpoint
The young pupils have already crossed and several other older pupils and students are crossing. Workers are crossing from the West Bank to the seam line zone without delay.
At 08:00 we left with the feeling that the occupation has taken root in the hearts of both the conquerors and the conquered. Everything has become routine. One feels like weeping with sadness and frustration.