Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan
06.20 Anin Checkpoint
There are soldiers – there are no keys.
We and the soldiers arrive at the checkpoint before the time. The DCO vehicle arrives via the security track and parks inside the checkpoint. The only problem : there are no keys, which arrive in a special vehicle at 06.30. The gate is opened. About 25 arrive, among them three women and three children. Six tractors pass through, one is turned back. We don’t know why. A young man complains that each time he is harassed before his passage is approved, although he has a valid approval in his hand, because he is on the denied entry to Israel list. To my best recollection, already during our first visit to the DCO about a decade ago, we were told that a denial of entry to Israel does not prevent entry to the Seam-line Zone.
Two carts harnessed to a donkey greet our arrival. Additional people pass-through after them. One says that that the transit is slow, another that today it’s OK. One thing is certain, this checkpoint in this position is pointless. It is not open 24 hours a day and doesn’t enable free passage to the needy. The checkpoint to which the army gave the name “The fabric of Life”, mainly disrupts life. It isolates and distances many people from their lands, from their work-places and their families in the Seam-line zone, and those who were imprisoned in the Seam-line zone are cut-off from the center of their life in the Jordan Valley.
The worker-transport vehicles are waiting in the upper parking-lot. Few people are passing at this hour, most have already gone to their work earlier. About one and a half dozen pick-ups loaded with agricultural produce designated for shops in Barta’a are waiting in the lower Palestinian parking-lot. They fill their secondary lot and block the entrance to the large parking-lot. Cars are parked in a long line on the road verges.
In the shade of olive trees between Amriha and the blocked road to Ya’bed, a military vehicle and a guard ensure that also pedestrians and not only cars will stay away from here. The checkpoint itself is not manned at this hour, and cars pass in both directions. 08.05 On our return via Barta’a checkpoint only a few people still arrive, some of the pick-ups have already left.