'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 21.1.08, Morning
Ruthy T., Neta J. (reporting)
Translation: Devorah K.
06:00 A'anin CP
The gates are open. People are coming out slowly. They tell us that there are still many waiting and indeed we hear a lot of noise. A soldier and an officer are doing the inspection near the farther gate on the side of A'anin, with lights attached to their caps. We approach and the soldiers ask us to go to the gate on the side of the seamline zone. They add that later the inspection will also move over there. Among those going through there are several families with well-groomed children. This is a school holiday.
06:30 Dozens of people from among those waiting are allowed to enter the compound between the gates of the CP. The gate on the side of A'anin is locked and they wait between that gate and the gate in the middle. The soldiers move to the south gate (seamline zone). We decide to wait until they all move over there. There is no school and there is no reason to reach the Shaked-Tura CP early in order to observe how the students go through.
07:20 Dozens of people are still waiting to go through, the passage is slow, every bag is inspected on the ground. The people become impatient and begin to argue. They crowd together near the gate in the middle. The soldiers approach them with their rifles drawn. The people retreat to the compound between the gates.
08:00 About twenty people are still waiting. One of those going through tells us that the soldiers are all right; the people from A'anin are out of order. They do not keep their places in the queue. It is sad to hear how this person has internalized the occupation.
08:20 The last of the people who were waiting finally go through, among them a family with four children. It is hard to understand how patient the children areas they wait in the terrible cold.
The soldiers lock the gate on the side of the seamline zone; they tell us that 99 people have gone through and that is approximately the number of people who have been going through lately every Monday and Thursday, the days when the CP is open. When we ask why they do not request additional staff for the inspection, the officer answers that generally they do get additional help but today it hadn't worked out. The soldiers open the gate in the direction of A'anin for three people who have changed their minds and asked to go back to the village.
08:30 Shaked-Tura CP
There are practically no people going through at this hour of the day. A soldier tells us that only a few have gone through earlier as well. A man with a donkey cart arrives from the lone house that has been cut off from the village of Tura by the Fence.
08:50 Reihan-Barta'a CP
There is very little traffic here at this time of day. In the Palestinian parking lot there are many cars, but only two loaded pickup trucks are waiting for inspection. Our friend, the young man Z. explains that because of the cold there are no vegetables. Four pickup trucks and four private cars are inspected in the courtyard and in the tent near the vehicle CP.
09:20 Two more pickup trucks have arrived. We leave.
09:45 Baka CP
Cases of vegetables are waiting near the wall for somebody to take them to an improvised counter on the side of West Baka (Israel). A pickup truck brings some more cases to the gate. The driver is not allowed to transport eggs. A soldier tells him that eggs and meat cannot be taken through this CP. A man with a donkey cart goes through from the West Bank and loads the cart with the vegetables.
The soldier, an "oleh" (new immigrant) from Australia, who serves in an armored brigade, says that he loves the work at the CP; he is teaching himself Arabic and loves to talk with the people. He tells us that about 150 people and only three Palestinian cars are allowed to go through at this CP.
A man who does not have a permit arrives at the CP. The soldiers define him as an 'illegal sojourner' and send him to pass into the West Bank through the Reihan-Barta'a CP.
10:10 We leave. The illegal sojourner has disappeared from view.