'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 13.10.08, Morning
06:20 - 08:30
06:20 Aanin Checkpoint
On the road leading to the checkpoint we meet people who have already passed. The checkpoint opened at 05:30. We are told that 200 people are waiting. One of them says that his brother’s valid agricultural permit has been confiscated for an unclear reason, and he was told to be at Salem DCO at 10:00.
Uproar at the checkpoint. People who have arrived early are having difficulty keeping their patience and waiting in line. Two soldiers are checking IDs and permits, and a third is listing the last digits of the IDs. Lieutenant Colonel Adel (Head of Salem DCO) is there with another DCO lieutenant. Seems that they are helping to maintain quiet amid the uproar. Among the crowd is a relatively large number of women and children. We ask Adel about the confiscated permit. He contends that something is not right, and he has detained the man himself. Adel indicates the women, buckets in hand, and the elderly, saying they are going to pick olives, but many of the youngsters cross into Israel. According to him, it is early for picking olives – the season only starts in November. A tractor driver wants to cross into the Seam Zone with a wagon of furniture. Adel sends him back saying that transfer of furniture can be coordinated at Reihan. We commented that such a move costs a lot of money, but he did not care... Adel orders one of the soldiers to photograph the furniture wagon. When we ask why the crossing is taking so long, Adel responds that yesterday 100 people crossed and today it is more than 200.
07:25 – about 20 people remain, prevented from crossing. According to Adel, most do not have valid permits, and the others are underage, youths who borrowed their father’s IDs and permits. They are not allowed to pass without a parent.
An elderly woman and her son are returning to Aanin. The woman has a full bucket of olives. Adel says that she has finished her day’s work, and that the cropis now small to prepare pickled olives from it.
The soldiers lock the checkpoint gates.
07:35 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
Heavier traffic than usual at this checkpoint. The last schoolchildren are crossing to Tura, beyond the fence. People complain about the slowness of the new soldiers. The DCO lieutenant is here, and after a few minutes Adel also arrives. We pass the complaints about slowness on to Adel and he answers that the lieutenant will stay there and assist.
08:05 – most of the waiting people, on foot or in vehicles, have passed. A new group enters the checking hut.
A taxi from Bartaa is being checked at the upper vehicle checkpoint. Its passengers are waiting on a bench in the over-tended plaza.
Five private cars are waiting at the lower checkpoint to enter the Seam Zone. Four others are being inspected. There are no loaded vans. It’s holiday eve (ours). People working in Bartaa arrive straight into the terminal.
A man from the Beduin community in Amriha, between Yaabed and the settlement of Mevo Dotan, complains about shortage of water. They bring water from Baka el Sharkiah in tankers. The short route is barred by a locked checkpoint next to Hermesh settlement. The tanker has to travel the long route through Kapin and Yaabed. Yaabed does not have enough water for Amriha. The long journey pushes up the price of the water. The man says that water is more expensive than diesel oil. They are asking that Hermesh checkpoint be opened once a day to let the tanker through, or – even better – that they should be connected to a water pipe. They are prepared to pay for the connection. Let’s not forget, this is 2008, and we aree about to celebrate Simhat Beit Hashoeva (the feast of the wells) - apart of the holiday of Tabernacles.