Reihan, Shaked, Sat 1.3.08, Morning
We sat and chatted a little about events at the checkpoint: as is already known, recentlt permits have been confiscated on the contention that the holders did not return the same day and at the same checkpoint. Evidently, people who cross on donkeys, carts or sometimes even in vehicles, are often improperly listed by the soldiers, and so when they return it is as if they are illegals returning home – which immediately leads to confiscation of the documents. The Palestinians are the ones punished when the soldiers don’t do their job properly.
How is the traffic at Shaked Checkpoint? It depends on the particular soldiers on the shift. Occasionally it is fast and easy, sometimes long, hard, and filled with humiliations. Once, when the line stopped, apparently for no reason, it was evident that the soldier supervising the x-ray machine had simply fallen asleep, and the Palestinians called his companions to come and wake him. Two children from Anwar’s family accompanied us back to the checkpoint, and, in good Hebrew learnt from soldiers, related additional things, including a story of an uproar at the checkpoint yesterday which caused it to close for an hour, and shots to be fired. We reached the checkpoint on foot from the direction of the border road and met a large flock of goats passing through quickly, without delays (no x-rays). No one was waiting on either side.