'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 7.2.08, Morning
Leah R, Sima S (reporting)
06:20 - 07:10 Aanin Checkpoint
The checking plaza is empty. The soldiers and people waiting to pass are beyond the furthest gate from us. Passage is slow. People coming through said the gate opened at 06:00, and that there are about 50 people waiting.
A man says that he was held on Monday for five hours because, according to the soldiers’ lists, he was not marked as having returned on Thursday. After waiting with manacled hands and blindfold, he was "released" at 12:30 and returned to Aanin (according to him, he asked the soldiers for water and did not receive; he was also very cold with manacled hands exposed to the wind).
An officer, accompanied by another soldier, approached us and said we shouldn’t enter the checking area because he is responsible for our safety, that we should stop photographing him (we didn’t, and hadn’t even taken the camera out).
It is bitterly cold, and there is no shelter from rain and wind. The bags continue to be checked on the exposed ground, even though it is possible to use the concrete cubes as checking tables.
07:10 - 07:50 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
The checkpoint opened at 07:00 and by 07:25 ten people had passed.
From a distance some 30 people can be seen waiting to cross from the West Bank to the Seam Zone. People coming through complain about the slowness of the check by the soldiers. In the opposite direction, schoolchildren and others are passing somewhat faster.
08:00 - 09:15 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
Eight loaded tenders are waiting at the entrance to cross. The parking lot is full of vehicles. We received phone calls from two people from Yabed requesting that we talk to somebody so that they will be allowed to pass at Dotan Checkpoint. Leah phoned the DCO and they say that there are warnings, but afterwards the people do arrive.
Representatives of the family that were going to host us in Yabed arrive at the parking lot; disappointed and in tears they tell about the two months’ preparations for the meeting that was to take place in Yabed today, about pupils and teachers who had cancelled a day’s studies specially in order to meet us. We exchange promises that we will still meet in the near future, despite.... Inshallah...
We give them the presents that we had bought for them and for the children.
09:30 – we part and leave.