'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 2.10.08, Afternoon
06:20 - 07:00 Aanin Checkpoint
The gates opened at 06:00. Men, women and children in holiday finery have already crossed, and still continue to come. The check is taking place beyond the gate on the Aanin side. Between gates there are no soldiers.
By the gate on the Seam Zone side stands a group from Um el-Fahm, waiting to enter Aanin. Between the Israeli town and the Palestinian village are family ties from before 1948, and after. A., our acquaintance from Aanin, tells us that, after the war, in 1949, a group of Aanin-born people lived in a small community (unfortunately we do not remember the name) next to Mei Ami. There were disputes between them and Mei Ami, and eventually the group moved to live in Um el-Fahm, but continued to work their lands next to Mei Ami.
This is the first time that residents of Um el-Fahm are going to visit their families in Aanin. Two of them are lawyers, and one said that he is in the process of obtaining a pass, and therefore they tried a few days ago to enter for a short while, and were allowed to do so. Now they have to wait till the Aanin residents have crossed to the Seam Zone, then they will be allowed to go in the opposite direction. We waited to make sure that there were no hitches. It is worth noting that despite the designation of the gate as "agricultural," it functioned today as part of the fabric of life. A lawyer from Um el-Fahm said that they are seeking to have the designation of the gate changed, because of the connection with many of the residents of Um el-Fahm. Presently, the holders of permits for family visits have to travel to Reihan or Shaked, and this lengthens the trip and costs more money.
No cars, no trucks with cargo, no one passing. It is still a holiday, and anyone about to visit family will probably get up later because the gate will be open all day.
Also empty. Holiday.
A happy holiday to everyone on both sides.