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

Observers: 
Yocheved G., Hanna H., (Reporting). Translation: Bracha B.A.
22/10/2014
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Afternoon

 

Shaked – Tura Checkpoint, 14:50

The checkpoint is quiet; a few pedestrians are crossing without entering the inspection room.

 

15:30 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint

Returning workers report that there have been problems with the electronic palm readers, which don't always work.  This causes crowding and delays near the machine.  Towards 16:00the flow of people returning from work increases.

 

A'anin Checkpoint 16:00

About 20 people returning from the olive harvest, and several tractors, are waiting next to the checkpoint.  The gate is opened but immediately closed again because the soldiers are called to attend to a security incident.  Meanwhile we listen to people's complaints.  One man tells us that he previously had a crossing permit for six months to cross at Shaked checkpoint, since he also works in his sister's olive grove in Um Reihan.  His permit was confiscated because one day he arrived at the checkpoint by hitching a ride in an Israeli car, which is against the law.  He was granted a permit to cross by the Liaison and Coordination Administration, but only for one month and only at A'anin.  

 

Everyone is complaining that even though their permits state that the checkpoint would be open every day until November 15th (end of the olive harvest), in fact the checkpoint is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.  We telephoned the Liaison and Coordination Administration and were told that the closing had been done with the permission of the mayor of the regional council, and that if a request would be submitted to open it again it would be answered and obtained.  We informed the workers about this, but it appears that they do not have a great deal of faith in the mayor of their regional council.

There are a lot of women among the olive harvesters.   Two of them said that they have four groves to harvest, but they were the only ones in their large families to receive permits and have to do  the difficult work alone.

 

At 16:30 the soldiers opened the checkpoint again and people began to cross one by one, without any problems. The first tractor entered the checkpoint with a wagon filled with sacks of olives. The policewoman insisted that the sacks be unloaded to be checked. The driver asked her to check the sacks  without his having to unload them, but immediately the conversation turned into shouts and threats.  An officer was called over to settle the matter, and eventually at 17:10 the tractor was permitted to cross without having to unload the sacks.