05:55 ‘Anin checkpoint (Gate 214)
Photo: The checkpoint is closed for 45 minutes.
The lower entrance to the checkpoint, which has three gates, didn’t open for 45 minutes, until an impressive solution was found: the soldiers broke the lock. A total of 15 people on foot and two tractors came today to the checkpoint. Each pedestrian was interrogated and their clothing inspected. Stained work clothes are allowed through – they don’t arouse suspicion the farmer’s on his way to a good time in town. But a white shirt and pants that aren’t torn are signs of evil intentions. Those aren’t work clothes, say the soldiers, where are you really headed? The interrogations are insulting. One man says: “And if I only want to stroll among my olive trees with my wife? Here’s what they say: ‘Strolling isn’t allowed.’” His companion says, “The soldiers’ job at the checkpoint is to drive us crazy.”
Muhanad, from ‘Anin, has an ongoing problem: the first digit of his ID number is missing in the computerized list of people permitted to cross through this checkpoint. When he presents his ID card with the correct number the soldiers say: “It’s not the same number; you can’t cross.” Finally, after a bitter argument, and after he shows them all the other digits are identical, they let him through. He says the same thing happened the last five or six times he went through the ‘Anin checkpoint. Maybe someone could correct the list?
07:15 Tura checkpoint
Photo (on the right): The little ones pass through the fenced corridor on their way to school in Tura.
The checkpoint opens on time. People cross pretty slowly in both directions. No one’s waiting on the seam zone side; about ten people wait at the revolving gate on the Tura side to go through to the inspection building. We’re told the computer is down; documents are being manually inspected, which takes longer.
08:00 Tayba-Rummana checkpoint
Photo (on the left): palestinians Waiting for a sign from the soldier, to cross to the seam zone).
The Border Police arrived on time and immediately began letting people through. Fifteen people and one tractor crossed in 15 minutes. A young man dressed “suspiciously” (too neat) was sent home. Those crossing says it always happens: clean, trim clothing causes problems at the checkpoint…
We gave a father and daughter a ride to Umm el Fahm. The father shows us his torn sleeve cuff, tells us they didn’t believe he was on his way to work. Do these clothes look fancy, he asks?