'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 12.5.08, Morning
05:30 Riehan-Barta'a checkpoint
We gave a lift to a man whose son is hospitalized in Rambam. We let him off at the entrance to the terminal on the seamline zone side and met him a few minutes later in the Palestinian parking lot. He introduced us to his sister who works as a seamstress in East Barta'a and was waiting with dozens of colleagues and about a hundred labourers to cross to the seamline zone.
Men and women are queuing separately and entering the terminal alternately in groups of five. The men are impatient. One climbs over the heads of his compatriots and another tells us "the company [that manages the checkpoint] is alright, people are not alright". Embarrassing to hear.
05:50 - it looks as if the terminal is congested. People are waiting at the entrance to the terminal on the West Bank side.06:15 - Everybody has disappeared in the terminal. In the parking lot there remains a neat list of 94 names of men who arrived very early in the morning. As we leave we see labourers and seamstresses coming out of the terminal.
Our friend B' who works at Shahak industrial site entered the terminal at about 06:00 and emerged at 07:10.
06:25, Anin checkpoint
On the road leading to the checkpoint we meet farmers who have already crossed. One of them tells us that today "everything is great" [tov la'allah]. On Thursday a new group of soldiers arrived and the pace of the passage has improved since then.
06:50 - A soldier approaches us to make sure we don't pass the gate. He and the rest are on squad commanders and officers' training courses and have been sent here on checkpoint duty. He told us fifty people waited to cross that morning and ten are still waiting. Five were turned back because their permits were out of date. We were told those five applied for new permits to the DCO but were rejected.
07:05, Shaked-Tura checkpoint
The gates are open. Pupils cross over to the West Bank without checks. A DCO vehicle is parked between the gates and we are told that that's the reason all is well today, unlike yesterday that the gates were opened late.
There's little traffic, on foot and by car, in both directions.
07:40 Reihan-Barta'a checkpoint
People working in East Barta'a are beginning to arrive in small groups from the West Bank.
At 08:10 the terminal is congested and people are queuing at the entrance.A hammer armed with BP moves from the Palestinian parking lot to the security road, navigating with difficulty between the parked cars and the drivers waiting for fare. He is being polite and not blowing his horn.
08:30 - as we leave four passenger cars and four vans are being checked. Eight vans packed with merchandise and seven passenger cars are waiting.