'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tayba-Rummana, Tura-Shaked
06.00 Barta’a-Reichan Checkpoint
Many workers were waiting for transportation to their work at the exit from the terminal, towards the upper parking area. Also, there was a large number of vehicles parked or circulating there. At the entrance to the checkpoint, through the lower parking area, there was a long queue, which was held up opposite the electric gate, which was locked (see the photograph). Many people arrive at this hour,from all parts of the Jordan Valley, on their way to the work in Israel and the Seam-Line zone.
After ten minutes the gate opened and people simply gushed inside, instead of in groups of five, which is often the case. Before the queue dissolved, the gate to the terminal was again locked and the queue again lengthened. Many people greeted us cheerfully. One of them approached to ask us to take action to allow people aged 55 and above to cross from here to Israel in the morning,instead of having to cross via the Irtach and Jalame checkpoints (in the afternoon everyone can return through here).
06.30 The Anin agricultural checkpoint
The checkpoint gates were already open, and the soldiers were standing near the middle gate (there are three gates at the checkpoint), but they were busy and still haven’t allowed people to go through. A number of Palestinians already stood next to the soldiers, waiting, and waiting . . . In the eyes of the Occupier the Palestinians’ lost time has no significance. After about a quarter of an hour the soldiers started to let people through the gate. Three tractors and about twenty people, many of whom we have known for quite a number of years, passed through. However, many of those whom we know don’t come to the checkpoint, because their permits are not being renewed, even though there is actually a lot of work to be done in the olive groves: to plough, to weed and to plant new olive trees. A female donkey and her fowlarrive from the nearby grove and stands next to us, braying loudly.
07.05 The Tura-Shaked checkpoint
When we arrived, the checkpoint was already in operation, and a trickle of people passed through the checkpoint from the Jordan Valley into the Seam-Line zone. At this early hour children and their teachers haven’t yet arrived. Olive seedlings in blue plastic barrels stood at the side. Here too the small number of people passing through was noticeable. A stranger might be led to think that the quiet was due to the efficiency of the checkpoint. But the truth is that if the checkpoint hadn’t been here, tens and maybe hundreds of people, who are imprisoned beyond the separation fence, would be coming and going between the nearby Palestinian villages. It’s not efficiency. It’s the occupation in all its glory, which derives the Palestinians of their freedom of movement in their own land.
08.00 The Tayba-Rummana agricultural gate
This barrier is located in the lower outskirts of Um El Fahem and to approach it one must drive up the steep hill to the Askandar peak (from it one can see Afula and the Valley of Yizrael, Haifa university, Hadera, and the Caesaria beach), and descend on unnamed roads, which are outside WAZE’s coverage, to the eastern side of the town. Border policemen operate the checkpoint and on the previous occasions that we were there they were late in opening it. Also today they were 20 minutes late and the crossing itself started only after another 10 minutes. Passage through the checkpoint was fast, the policemen were purposeful and behaved correctly, and none of the Palestinians was refused passage. It seems to us that more people have been crossing here lately. Today we were told (by the the Tayba village head) “When you are here everything goes smoothly”.
At least we have started to gain some trust .