'Anin, Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 11.8.08, Morning

Observers: 
Anna NS, Neta G (reporting)
Aug-11-2008
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Morning

05:05 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint

About 100 men and women crowded in front of the gate from the Palestinian parking lot into the sleeveinfo-icon. The woman security guard in the cabin is meticulous about entry in groups of fives, and if a sixth passes she sends (in Arabic) one of them back, and if he doesn’t withdraw immediately, she adds (in Hebrew) that the delay will be on their time, not hers!

05:35 – everyone who has come by this hour has already entered the terminal.

Four private cars have been undergoing inspection for more than 20 minutes. Five loaded pick ups are waiting in the parking lot for inspection that will begin at 06:00.

05:50 – on the Seam Zone side, workers are waiting for transport. The coffee vendor is enjoying the delay.

06:10 Aanin Checkpoint
The gatesinfo-icon are open. The first tractor is coming out. We are told that many are waiting, the estimates range from 50 to 100. We can’t see the crowd. The soldiers are listing details to ensure that they return the same day by the same checkpoint (214).

06:25 – another Hummer arrives with reinforcements. With so many soldiers, no one passes.

06:45 – we are told that more than fifty people are still waiting.

06:55 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint

The soldiers are already in place. At 07:00 they begin to let people through. The people waiting on the West Bank side, beyond the fence, move up to wait by the turnstile at the entrance to the inspection hut. The first comes out after five minutes, then one every minute or two. One person tells us that they are listing all the holders of agricultural passes and confiscating those of people who had not returned as required on the same day and at the same checkpoint (300).

07:50 – still 15 people waiting at the turnstile. The pace seems to have picked up a bit.

A courteous captain comes over to talk to us. He starts by saying that we won't talk about the actual existence of the checkpoint, only the way it is being run. He says that during the morning, from 07:00 - 09:00, 250 people cross in each direction, mostly from the West Bank to the Seam Zone. He confirms the report from the farmer about confiscation of permits from those who had not returned as required. The captain distinguishes between holders of agricultural permits and residents of the nearby communities – Dahar el Malkh, Hirbet Radia, and Um a Reihan – who are permanent residents of the Seam Zone and entitled to pass here or at Reihan.

We asked about transfer of goods for family consumption. The captain said that there is no precise definition of number of sacks, etc. and that is at the discretion of the checkpoint commander. The pace of passage through the checking hut has improved because the checkpoint commander has gone in to help the soldier on duty there. The captain assists in checking the vehicles permitted to cross at this checkpoint.

08:05 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint

A bus from Bartaa arrives at the vehicle checkpoint on it way to the West Bank. The passengers descend for ID checks.

In the lower Palestinian parking lot there is no one waiting by the gate, but scores are in the sleeve waiting to enter the terminal.

08:30 – people arriving at the gate enter straight away, but have to wait in the sleeve. Loud eruptions of bitterness can be heard.

09:20 Jalame Checkpoint

There is no prison visit today. Few crossing at this hour. Many cars of Israeli Arabs who have crossed to visit the West Bank, standing in the parking lot.

L., the supervisor, says that this morning 350 workers crossed. When there is transit for families of convicts, the number is doubled. He says that recently the checkpoint is also open on Saturdays, for Israeli Arabs only.

We took a sick youth with his father for radiation treatment at Rambam hospital. The father said that they cross every day for treatment, and occasionally the boy has to go in to the inner room for additional checks despite his illness.