Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint
The number of people crossing at this checkpoint is constantly growing, but the operation of the checkpoint does not keep up with it. We heard many complaints this morning about the crowded conditions and the line in front of the turnstile, and the person in charge responded, "It's like this every day." People are angry that the second turnstile, which was originally intended for people crossing towards the West Bank, is not in operation. These are mostly workers who are returning to the West Bank after working the night shift in the seamline zone and this turnstile is not usually working.
Five people pass through, the turnstile is locked again for several minutes and then five more are let in. The line grows longer and longer as more people arrive. The young people push and shove and the older people wait on the side avoiding being pushed. A few women wait quietly next to the turnstile until they are noticed and they are let inside. Many people have been waiting there since 04:00 to get a place on the line, as we were told. Someone took a video of the commotion and agreed to give it toi us. A young man then arrived and refused to let the man give us the video. He was angry that he was talking to us at all.
There is a steady flow of people who have crossed through the terminal walking up the sleeve. Many of them buy a cup of coffee at the kiosk belonging to the settlers and hurry up to the parking lot to their rides. There is a lot of disorder in the parking lot with cars coming and going in all directions. Groups of people stand around everywhere. Despite this, the drivers are calm and no one is honking or cursing.
When we stood in the doorway of the terminal, a guard came and told us not to take pictures. He showed us the solution to the overcrowding in the morning: five windows are operating, as opposed to the usual two. While we were there, one of the windows closed. We asked him to begin using the second turnstile but he was opposed to the idea. It is only intended for people who are entering the West Bank. A bit of flexibility would improve the occupation considerably. On the other hand, if the occupation is tolerable, it will never end.
07:00 – A'anin Agricultural Checkpoint
The olive harvest is coming to an end. We can tell by the number of people who are crossing. About 50 people cross from the village of A'anin to the seamline zone, including a few women. A 19-year-old man asked for our help in obtaining a permit to cross to Barta'a, where he wants to work in a car repair shop. We gave him Tami S.'s phone number. Mahmud crosses the checkpoint to us only to take clothing that we have brought. Before he returns to the village on his tractor, he stops to talk to us. He is not in a hurry today because he has finished harvesting his olives. We learned that he sells the old furniture and junk that he collects for NIS 1.70 per kilogram.
8.00 Taibe Romana Agricultural Checkpoint
The Liaison and Coordination Administration vehicle arrived at the checkpoint ahead of time, but the soldiers were 20 minutes late. Within 15 minutes, all 27 people who had permits to cross through this checkpoint had crossed. A policewoman handled all the procedures without delay.