Barta'a-Reihan, Tayba-Rummana, Tura-Shaked
06:10 – Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint
It is extremely cold - -2 C. Several tenders are waiting in the Palestinian parking lot with agricultural produce wrapped in plastic (photo on right) . There is a short line
next to the turnstile at the entrance to the terminal that quickly grew until 150 people were waiting. Iad, the volunteer who keeps order in the morning arrives, but it appears that
everyone is keeping order by themselves without his being present. People formed a double line and moved ahead slowly towards the entrance. Iad estimates that about 200 people cross here each morning on their way to work in the settlements or as far as Tel Aviv. He tells us, "I bless you in the name of the Palestinian People and what you are doing for us." Neta adds that we are doing it for ourselves as well.
06:35 – A'anin Agricultural Checkpoint
This checkpoint is open twice each week for one half hour during the morning and afternoon. People cross here who have agricultural permits or work permits. The checkpoint opens and the sun rises, raising the temperature by a degree. People crossing estimated that about 50 people arrived at the checkpoint this morning and as far as we saw all of them crossed. One man turned back and quickly returned to the village. Evidently his wife had called and said that she did not feel well and asked him to return home. The women whom we do not know approached us smiling and approached us, probably because we were also wrapped up against the cold. They took pictures of together with us with their mobile phones and then rode with us. For a while the occupation was forgotten. We were simply five women whose eyes were watering because of the cold who were happy to meet each other.
07:15 – Fabric of Life Checkpoint Tura Shaked (1 degree C)
After much discussion the mayors of the villages of Um-A Reihan and Dahar al Malakh managed to get the checkpoint opened earlier, including on Saturdays. The checkpoint now opens at 06:30 – enabling people to get to work on time. Previously they appealed to the civil authorities through an attorney, and succeeded in lengthening the hours during which the checkpoint is open from a few hours to all day, which was an impressive achievement. Today, however, despite the arrangement that it would open at 06:30, the checkpoint did not open until 07:30 and everyone was angry. The checkpoint is filled with people in all the posts – the soldiers' positions, the inspection points for pedestrians and the vehicle crossings. The checkpoint serves a small population and is empty during most of the hours it is open. Farmers from A'anin who want very much to get a permit to cross here to work their land will not receive one because people cannot hold a crossing permit for two checkpoints.
The garbage container at the entrance to the checkpoint is overflowing again. Rachela and Tzvia joined us. They are checking the agricultural checkpoints to verify the rumor that they will soon be closed, due to the idea that whatever is bad for the Palestinians is good for the Jews.
08:05 – Tibeh Romana Agricultural Checkpoint
Hundreds of people are crossing to work their land or to do business in Um El Fahem.
About 30 pedestrians and a tractor were waiting in a crowded group for border policemen who arrived, opened the checkpoint, and let everyone with permit cross without delay. One person crossing remarked, "I was born into the occupation (after1948) and I'll die under the occupation. Nothing will change."