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

Leah R, Rony S (reporting)



06:10   Etzion Agricultural Checkpoint

The gate is opened only twice a week for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, for farmers from the village whose land is beyond the fence in the seam-line zone, and also for those who have a permit to work in the seam-line zone.


Before we arrived at the checkpoint we met a farmer on a tractor who had already succeeded in passing through the checkpoint.  He reported to us that the soldiers have opened the gate on time but they asked the workers many questions and this held up their passage.


Another Palestinian passed through the checkpoint and told us that there were perhaps five more waiting. Then there was a pause of about ten minutes, and we couldn’t see or hear what was happening in the inspection area, because of the morning fog and also because of the distance.


06:20  We vaguely saw two Palestinians inside the checkpoint, and heard the military police sergeant threatening one of them that if he tried to  bring through a can of olive-oil she would confiscate his permit and he wouldn’t be allowed to pass again.  Two more Palestinians arrived, one of them carrying a can of olive-oil, and they greeted us with a “shalom”.  Right after them the soldiers arrived and closed the three gatesinfo-icon of the checkpoint, a minute before 06:30, and we didn’t know whether everyone who wanted to pass succeeded.


06:30 The Palestinian with the can of oil waited at the side of the road and the soldiers’ jeep was next to him.  The second soldier also waited in the corner.   Were the soldiers deliberating whether to stay and see who would pick up the Palestinians, or follow us?  Eventually they followed us.


06.45  Barta’ah Reichan checkpoint

A few Palestinians who have crossed from the West-Bank were waiting for work in the seam-line zone, and also a few taxis. The reason for the small number was apparently the relatively late hour (the checkpoint opened at 05:00), and also because during Ramadam fewer people went out to work.


07:07 At this hour, only a few people passed through, and only one inspection window was open.  From time to time a few workers arrived, and we greeted them with “Ramadam Karim”.  Some of them said that their passage was quick and others complained of a slow passage. It wasn’t clear to us which was true.


07:45 We left the checkpoint.  Outside we chatted with a driver and he confirmed that during Ramadam far fewer Palestinians go out to work


07:50  Tura-Shaked checkpoint

At this hour most of those passing through this checkpoint (which opens at 07:00) have already passed and gone to their work.  Here too the limited number of those passing through was related to the Ramadam fast.  There was a lot of dirt and pollution beside the rubbish-bin which was overflowing with garbage.  A taxi arrived and waited for a few people who came out one by one and went on their way.


08:10 We too went on our way. Wadi Ara was quiet and tranquil at that hour.