'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 14.1.08, Morning
Anna N.S., Neta G. (reporting)
06:00 - 09:10
06:00 Aanin Checkpoint
Very cold. The thermometer in the car is showing zero. A beautiful sunrise greets us. The first person comes through, saying there about 60 others waiting. The traffic is slow. Most of the people passing are young.
The soldiers have become more sophisticated. They do not read the lists of those passing through by the car headlights, but now wear torches on their heads. There is no improvement in the inspection of baggage on the cold ground.
An angry soldier makes sure that we do not pass through the gate on the Seam Zone side. He threatens to close the checkpoint, and, alternatively, to call the police. Throws at us, "Collaborators!"
06:30 – the waiting people are pushed into the space between the gates, and the gate on the Aanin side is locked. A few score people are waiting between the gates. Latecomers will not pass.
07:00 – there are still about 20 people waiting between the gates. We leave.
07:05 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
Little traffic. People passing into the Seam Zone are being checked in the hut; those going to the West Bank, children and adults, move freely. The older schoolchildren study their notebooks – examination season.
07:55 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
At the upper opening of the sleeve leading from the checkpoint to the Seam Zone, we are told that almost all have been checked in the rooms, including women. Only the old people have passed without the additional checks. Cars are being checked with a mirror before they pass into the West Bank.
In the Palestinian lot only four loaded vans waiting for inspection; four more are in the closed compound. Three cars are being checked in the white tent and four are waiting in the road.
The traffic is lighter than usual at this hour. Everyone seems cold. Walid, on coffee shift, is under the roof, with stacks of egg trays behind him. He tells us that he came to work at 03:00. About 15 workers usually arrive at that hour, and some of them buy coffee or tea. The livelihood is tough.
08:15 - 08:30 – small groups of workers in East Bartaa arriving from the West Bank. After 15-30 minutes, they begin to dribble out, two or three at a time, from the terminal. Adult women pass in five minutes.
In the hut before the terminal, one of the guards is shouting a lesson in manners to one of the people passing: " At home, do you also throw away cigarettes that way?"
T., the driver, father of P. (who was very ill and was treated at Rambam (Haifa) and Jenin, and has died last week), has returned to work. He is standing by the water taps in the roofed-over area, his features gray from grief, his eyes dull and teary. There are no words to console him. All from Allah, he says.
09:10 – only two pick-ups are waiting. Almost no traffic. We leave.
We drive through East Bartaa. Development work to direct traffic is being carried out in the main road that crosses the village.