'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 18.2.08, Morning
Shula B, Neta G (reporting)
06:00 - 08:00
06:00 Aanin Checkpoint
The gates are already open. The check is going on below, between the middle gate and the one on the Aanin side. We cannot observe. The checkpoint commander, a second lieutenant, watches to see that we do not approach and threatens that no one will pass if we do not leave the area of the fence. He contends that it is also forbidden to take photos since this is "a closed military area" – but he does not have the commanding general’s order in his hands. We showed him the letter about permission to photograph and he says he will check with brigade.
06:10 – finally a man passes.
06:15 – a woman passes with a child. The soldiers are numbering the transients.
06:25 – number seven passes. The pace is slow and annoying. We are told that 70 people are waiting.
06:45 – the soldiers go, with weapons drawn, to close the gate on the Aanin side. If anyone arrives after this, he will not pass.
06:50 – five tractors go through, one after the other. Number 16 passes.
07:00 – number 21 passes. Scores of people still waiting between the gates.
On our way to Shaked-Tura Checkpoint we are stopped by a man from Aanin who tells us that his brother’s permit was confiscated because one day he felt ill and crossed at Reihan Bartaa outside the opening hours of Aanin Checkpoint. Serious sin! They have to return through the checkpoint by which they left for the Seam Zone! Raya is dealing with it.
07:10 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
A group of children from the Seam Zone cross to school in Tura which is beyond the fence. Perhaps 20 people waiting to enter the Seam Zone. One of them, a resident of Tura, says that forty people cross during the morning. He says that part of his land is on the site of the army camp, and can’t be cultivated.
There is an innovation at the checkpoint: across the road on both sides are strewn sandbags. Seams that they are to serve as speed bumps.
07:40 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
In the upper ("Israeli") parking lot someone (a 24 year old) tells us that today was good. It took him ten minutes, even though he was checked in one of the rooms. On other days it is prolonged, so he says, for half an hour or an hour. He works eight hours a day in the carton plant at East Bartaa, for 50 shekels a day, and the journey from his home in Yabed to work and back costs him 20 shekels. Previously he worked in a sausage plant in Tulkarm 14 hours a day for 40 shekels. He recalls nostalgically his workdays seven years ago in a packing plant in Hadera and in Kfar Vitkin. Apologizes that he has meanwhile forgotten his Hebrew.
07:50 – a bus arrives from Bartaa. The passengers alight and go down the sleeve to the terminal. At 08:00 we see the bus in the lower parking lot. The passengers have also passed and gone on their way.
In the lower (Palestinian) parking lot, eight loaded pick up trucks are waiting. Four are being inspected. Fifteen people arrive and are swallowed into the terminal.