The Oranit checkpoint opened 40 minutes late and remained open for less than five minutes. Many complaints from farmers who are forced to use it because agricultural gates near their homes and fields have recently been closed.
The new Oranim checkpoint
According to information we’ve recently received from the DCL, the new checkpoint replacing ‘Azzun ‘Atma, which used to be open continuously from early in the morning until the evening, now opens only three times a day, for 30 minutes. The afternoon opening hours are from 12:30 to 13:00.
12:30 The gate in the intimidating wall is sealed and locked. A military vehicle is parked beside it, soldiers inside. Some farmers on their way home after their workday wait beneath the olive tree.
More farmers slowly gather. They already know the checkpoint doesn’t open on time. A few complain about the worsening conditions in the past few months, since a number of gates leading straight to their fields have been closed. An elderly man descends from a tractor driven by his sons; his wife and daughter sit in the trailer. He’s extremely angry and explains why, in English: his land is far to the north but the checkpoint (Abu Salman) doesn’t open (in the afternoon) and he must travel many kilometers to the Oranit checkpoint, and then he must go back north to his home. “Israel stole my land, my livelihood, my life, and worst of all – my hope and future and that of my family.” He’s unwilling to speak on camera, extends his arms as if he were handcuffed.
12:50 The soldiers leave the vehicle to demand that I move behind the concertina wire. That ritual repeats itself on every one of my shifts. I try to telephone to find out why they don’t open the gate.
13:05 An additional military vehicle arrives “to check the area,” and leaves.
13:10 Finally, ten minutes after the checkpoint was supposed to close, the soldiers arrive. I submit a complaint about the 40-minute delay in opening the gate. Everyone on both sides goes through quickly.
13:15 The gate closes; the soldiers are already on their way.
We drove along the winding fence to Sha’arei Tiqwa in order to photograph.
14:00 Habla checkpoint.
A few tractors, carts, cars and people on foot.