'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 31.12.07, Morning

Anna NS, Neta G (reporting)

06:00 - 09:30

06:00 Aanin Checkpoint

The checkpoint is still closed, it's very cold, and the voices of the waiting people can be heard from beyond the locked gatesinfo-icon.

06:10 - the soldiers arrive and open the gates.

06:20 - the first ones are through. The pace is slow, we're told that 30-40 people are waiting at this time. Later they tell us 60. Seems that because of the cold they are arriving later than usual.

07:05 - a few score people have passed, including two tractors and a donkey. Two were not permitted. Our viewing conditions do not allow us to ascertain why...

07:30 - perhaps 20 people waiting between the gates, mostly youngsters and two women among them. We leave.

07:40 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint

We are greeted by a sign announcing "Romach Battalion - Golan." The temporary emplacement is almost emptied of caravans and even the garbage skiff has been emptied.

Three schoolchildren crossing at this time. The soldiers tell us that 20 passed earlier.

Perhaps 15 people are waiting on the Tura side to cross into the Seam Zone, a few of them on bikes. Almost no one is crossing to the West Bank right now.

One of the people going in to the Seam Zone tells us that he only has two more years of hard work. He has eight sons and daughters, six of whom have already finished university, and two still studying. When they finish, he can relax. Says proudly that all of them are good children, and the investment in studies is better than investment in a bank.

08:10 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint

On the Seam Zone side taxi drivers are waiting for passengers. Workers in East Bartaa arrive from the terminal and walk up the sleeveinfo-icon.

Three cars are waiting at the upper vehicle checkpoint to cross into the West Bank; four vehicles are being checked in the white tent; four pickup trucks are in the inspection compound. In the Palestinian lot there are only three loaded vans.

People working in Bartaa are still arriving by car and on foot.

Walid, the coffee boy "supervisor of the checkpoint" says that early this morning 70 workers crossed into the Seam Zone and more than 100 seamstresses.

They tell us that early this morning passage at Mevo Dotan - Amriha was orderly, but at 08:45 we get a phone call that 12 cars are waiting there.

08:55 - we leave. Seems that traffic today is thinner than usual. Everyone is cold.

09:20 Baka Checkpoint

A single car with an Israeli license plate crosses to West Baka. No traffic at this hour. A few crates of vegetables are waiting for someone to take them to a stand on the Israeli side of the wall.

A second lieutenant tells us that during the day only 40-odd people have passed through the checkpoint in both directions. The list has 120 names of people permitted to cross at Baka.

09:30 - we leave the last shift of 2007. [L]