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

Neta Golan. Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham



15:05 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

Three soldiers are marching towards the checkpoint to begin a shift, and a few minutes later three others leave and go down to the army base, smiling.  There is little vehicle or pedestrian traffic in either direction.  A civilianvehicle bearing the insignia "Reihan Security" comes up the dirt road from the lone house.  What was it doing there?    


15:30 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side

Palestinians are beginning to return home from work in Israel and in the seamline zone.  "As usual" in the past few weeks, only one window is open and a line has begun to form next to it.  People returning from Israel do not go through the terminal but around it.  A few cross from the West Bank to the seamline zone – most of whom are students.  Two of them come up to me.  They study in Nablus; one is studying engineering and the other nursing. The future engineer approaches, fastening his belt, which he has had to remove for the inspection.   They express their dissatisfaction with the checkpoint and the separation barrier, both of which are standing on Palestinian land.


16:05 – A'anin Checkpoint

The soldiers arrived on time and have already opened the gatesinfo-icon of the checkpoint.  Dozens of people, a few tractors, and two donkeys are waiting to cross.  People complain that they would not be able to pick all the olives by the end of the harvest in another nine days.  A  63-year-old man riding a donkey explains that he is the only person in his family who has received a permit.  He also complains that he will not manage to harvest the entire crop by the 15th of the month.  Two more wagons arrive carrying women and laughing children. This is the first time I have seen something resembling joy at the olive harvest. The children want me to take their picture, and they photograph me as well, but unfortunately there is something wrong with my smartphone and I can't send them the pictures. 


By 16:25 everyone has crossed.  A military policeman approaches me and shows interest in what I am doing.  He has not heard of Machsom Watch.  He tells me I can go because the checkpoint is closing, but I correct him and tell him that it is open until 17:00.  His friends verify this.  A full, bright white moon is shining above A'anin.


16:45 – A young man arrives followed by a woman and her son.  The young man passes through, but the woman and man do not.  Apparently they are residents of Um el Fahem (in Israel) and want to go to A'anin in the seamline zone, to visit another son. 


At 17:00the soldiers close the checkpoint.  The moon turns yellow as I left.