'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan

Observers: 
Leah R., Roni S., (Reporting). Translation: Bracha B.A.
Nov-3-2014
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Morning

 

06:10 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint

Many workers who have already gone through the checkpoint are waiting outside for rides to work.  People report that today crossing was relatively fast, but that yesterday, Sunday it was extremely crowded.

 

We walked towards the terminal through the sleeveinfo-icon and people walk toward us coming out. People report that there are a lot of people in the terminal, and that only two windows are open for inspecting documents, and that there is a long line.

 

At 06:30 a third window opened and things moved a little faster, but people still complained that it took a long time, "50 meters per hour."  Some of the young people crossing are students from the village of Yaabed, located within the Palestinian Authority, but they go to school in Barta'a and have to go through the checkpoint every day.

 

06:50– We went down to the lower gate on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint to see what the situation was over there.  No one was waiting to enter the checkpoint and the parking lot was filled with cars and trucks.  We drove on to A'anin.

 

07:00 – A'anin Checkpoint

The gatesinfo-icon of the checkpoint are locked. There is no one there except  the schoolchildren who live in the Bedouin camp below the checkpoint, who are on their way to school. We hear voices from the other gate, on the far side of the checkpoint, where residents of A'anin are waiting to cross to the seamline zone, to harvest olives.

 

At 07:05 the soldiers arrive and begin to open the checkpoint. At 07:15 the first Palestinian crosses.   A few Palestinians cross on their way to their olive groves as well as several tractors.   One of them stops inside the area of the checkpoint.  He has received a permit to harvest the trees, which are within the area of the checkpoint, but only when the checkpoint is open.

 

07:25– An argument begins between one of the young Palestinians and the soldiers, holding up the rest of the people.  The soldiers do not allow him to cross because his clothes are too clean ("that's not how you dress for work").   A Palestinian woman in a brightly printed dress was also questioned but was allowed to cross.   More people and tractors crossed the checkpoint. 

 

The permits issued to people for the olive harvest are valid until November 15th.    People complain that they will not be able to complete all the work by then, especially when this year not enough permits have been issued and the harvest took even longer. They heard a rumor that the mayor of the village (who is also the school principal) agreed to the closing of the checkpoint on Saturdays as well as during Eid Al Adbakh.   This is what they were told by an officer from the Liaison and Coordination Administration, and they claimed this was not true.   

 

At 07:35 the children were picked up to go to school and we didn't see any other people waiting to cross.

 

07:45– More and more heavy clouds were rolling from the west.  Since most of the activity at Tura Checkpoint was already over, we decided not to go to observe anymore and started to drive home.  The rain caught up with us on the way.