06:00 – Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint
There are many workers in the upper parking lot who have already crossed through the checkpoint and are waiting for rides or for their friends who are still stuck in the terminal. Many minibuses, taxis and cars, some of which have Israeli license plates, are parked on the entrance lanes. Some workers come up to us and ask us for assistance in various matters and we answer them as best we can. We descend the sleeve and a crowd of people is walking up in the opposite direction, and everyone is complaining that on the Palestinian side they are only letting a few people in at a time. There are long pauses between each time the turnstile is opened. One person tells us that on Monday two doors were opened and things were easier than today, when only one door is open and the facility is more crowded as a result.
We walked down to the entrance on the Palestinian side. Things were not going well there: the turnstile was closed, a line of too many people to count extended into the parking lot, and people were pushing and shoving and angry. Hanna phoned Ron, the person in charge of the crossing, and complained. And he promised to take care of the situation. Within a few minutes the turnstile opened and about 50 people entered the terminal. After that the turnstile continued to remain open and people entered more quickly. Meanwhile it was already close to 07:00 and many people had already missed their rides to work. One person who works in construction near Netanya managed to go back and return home after the contractor called and told him that he had left without him.
07:10 – Things became crowded again. Young people began to climb over the fence and the turnstile, and the loudspeaker announced that if everyone did not move back the turnstile would remain closed. Older workers waited outside the line and were hesitant to get caught in the pushing crowd despite the fact that they had been waiting since the early hours of the morning. By 07:30 there were somewhat fewer people but many were still waiting and more were arriving.
There is no doubt that the problem is that there is only one turnstile since the
second one is for people crossing to the West Bank after working night shifts. Once people entered the terminal they crossed relatively quickly.
Another person spoke to us who also did not want to get pushed in the crowd said that when he arrives late for work his salary is docked for every hour that he is late. He entered the terminal when it was less crowded and we saw him come out after several minutes.
07:35 – A'anin
We arrived late at A'anin and saw a lot of people walking down the road. Most of the tractors had already crossed and we only saw one, as well as a couple of donkeys and a foal accompanied by their owners and wives. The checkpoint will remain open for another two weeks for the duration of the olive harvest, which they will finish depending upon the weather.
They plan on harvesting the groves located in the seamline zone and then complete the harvest in the groves located near the village.