ברטעה-ריחן, טורה-שקד, טייבה-רומנה, עאנין

Observers: 
Nurit Perla, Avivit Kreiner (Welcome), Shula Bar (reporting) Naomi Gal translating
17/07/2014
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Morning

Checkpoint Barta`a (Area’s terminal 05:45   

in the upper parking lot a few taxis are waiting for work but there are very few clients. Apparently just a few people arrive to work from the West Bank, because of Ramadan. Palestinians explained to us that after walking around at night between neighbors and family members, and going to sleep late, they have no desire to get up at dawn for work. In the lower level parking there are people who still came to work – they immediately pass to the terminal and from there to their working places, mainly at Palestinian Barta'a. Ten commercial vehicles are waiting on the road since last night. Ibrahim, the veteran ride’s organizer explains that the agricultural products and goods that are passing here go all over the country. "No, not just to Barta'a," he makes fun of us.

 

Checkpoint (Agricultural *) Anin 06:10    
At the CP there are more people in uniform than Palestinians. The crossing begin – one tractor and barely 10 pedestrians. People do not get new permits. In comparison – during the last olive’s harvest (October, November 2013) every day more than 100 people passed, during other days, not in the harvest season, around 30-50 people passed twice a week. For quite some time now, less and less people pass here. There are about 4,000 people in the village the vast majority of them are farmers. Why don’t they renew their permits and issue new permits so that they can cross over to their lands? Apparently someone in the Civil Administration / DCO decided there is no need. It should be reminded that farmers do not need a formal reason no to explain why the need or want to approach their lands! 
Hosni, the redhead farmer, says that last Monday only he and two others returned to the village in the afternoon. And what do you do on other days when this checkpoint is closed? Stay at home, he says, I have a few goats, I take them out to the pasture, I milk them. Those who have a job "outside" pass on other days through the farther Al-Jalama Checkpoint.

 

CP (Life’s Fabric*) Tura 6:55

A group of soldier + one female soldier are arriving from the military base on their way to open and operate the checkpoint. At the CP there are already some of the security forces. In Tura, the village that’s close to the CP on the Palestinian side we see unfamiliar sight: a patrol of soldiers are leaving the village (marked on the left photo) and go on to cross the checkpoint. The soldiers pass next to us and some of them greet us or respond with a warm “good morning”. This positive attitude toward us is surprising! Maybe they are new soldiers and in a short while their friends will influence them to see in us a bitter enemy.

Usually in the morning only few people pass, today even less.

 

CP (Agricultural) Taibe Romana 08:00 -  
on our way to the checkpoint we got lost in the alleys of Umm al-Fahm. When we asked for help from a young local he said adamantly: There is no checkpoint, and insisted time and again. We invited him to join us but he refused angrily. It is unclear why the anger? The checkpoint is located at the foot of the mountain town, on its eastern border. It may be amazing that an Umm al-Fahm resident does not know about it but actually it’s not that surprising. 
Today the border guards opened the checkpoint on time and in doing so agreed to talk a little. Although they weren’t filled with joy to see us, they didn’t show hostility as has happened in the past.

The red tractor passed first, as usual. What's going on? We asked the tractor operator. "Once it’s like this and once like that," he said and hurried away. Six people followed. A woman accompanied by a young man and a little boy is angrily arguing with the guards. One can understand that she is trying to convince them to let them cross over to their lands. "Here, here", she points towards Umm al-Fahm. It doesn’t help her. She goes back home with her sons. Border police explained that the youngster had no permit.

On our way back we again got lost, although we enjoyed it, in the alleys of the city. Every corner is overlooking the mosque with its golden domes, strange houses with all kinds of high floors and decorations... A city that grows higher and higher.

 

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Area’s terminal: a large checkpoint with elaborate systems of checking and identifications, for passing people, vehicles and goods of any size between the West Bank, the Seam Zone and Israel.  
Agricultural Checkpoint: Located on the separation wall and allowing Palestinians farmers who are cut form their lands to continue working on them only twice a week. 
Life’s Fabric Checkpoint: is supposed to provide a humane solution for Palestinians who were cut off from the West Bank with the construction of the wall, to continue their relationships with the West Bank and vice versa.