'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan

Observers: 
Roni Shalit, Idit, Neta Golan (Reporting). Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
17/11/2014
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Morning

 

06:00 – A'anin Checkpoint

Yesterday I called the Liaison and Coordination Administration and was told that the checkpoint would open at 06:00, as it had before the olive harvest, but when we arrived we found a deserted checkpoint and no soldiers. I called the Liaison and Coordination Administration and was told that the checkpoint would be open from 06:30 to  07:00. At exactly 06:30 a white car from the Liaison and Coordination Administration and a military vehicle arrived and the checkpoint opened. 

 

The first person crossed at 06:35. At 06:50 a donkey arrives carrying several schoolbags, followed by a boy and several girls.   They are Bedouin children who live in the encampment below the checkpoint. They are waiting for their ride to school in Um A-Reihan. 

 

At 07:05 two dozen people and a few tractors crossed.  The people were not aware of the changes in the opening hours at the checkpoint.

 

Shaked – Tura Checkpoint 07:15

We drove carefully because we’ve arrived as children were walking along the side of the road to school.  There is no sidewalk.  One of the people crossing to the seamline zone complained that yesterday the checkpoint did not open until 08:00because there was no electricity, and the soldiers were not allowed to record people's names by hand.  He added that this morning the inspection was unusually meticulous.

 

07:55 – Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint

There is a line of ten cars waiting to drive through the checkpoint in both directions.  Suddenly the drivers going in the direction of Yaabed and Jenin are allowed through, and the line disappears. One person remarks that "they are only letting people through quickly because you are here." 

Perhaps this is true.  One of the drivers, who is the head of the Barta'a Regional Council, says that the checkpoint has been manned by soldiers until 23:00 for the past two months, but sometimes at noon they have to wait for more than an hour.

 

The line going in the other direction is not moving, and when it does it doesn’t get any shorter because more cars keep coming.  At 08:20 we leave, but there is still a waiting line. It is important to visit this checkpoint!  

 

08:40 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, the Palestinian Side

The parking lot is crowded as usual.  We park by the side of the road among the Palestinian cars.  Four vans loaded with agricultural produce are waiting in the small Palestinian waiting area in front of the inspection facility. Seven others are waiting by the side of the road.  The Palestinian, who had operated the coffee stand until he was ordered to close, when the settler from Hermesh opened his kiosk, is now working at cleaning the checkpoint. He still hopes that he will be allowed to reopen his coffee stand. 

 

Drivers are complaining about the delay at Yaabed Checkpoint.  One says that he is a Bedouin and that his cousins who live in Israel serve in the IDF as trackers – a scene from the absurd reality in Israel.

 

09:10 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side

We are told that there are about 50 people in the terminal and that it takes as long as 20 minutes to a half hour or more to get through. A few people are crossing to the West Bank.  Here, too, drivers complain about Yaabed Checkpoint.  As we ascend the sleeveinfo-icon the kiosk owner from the settlement of Hermesh begins shouting for reasons that are not clear.