'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 3.11.08, Afternoon

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Anna N. S. and Neta J. (reporting)

Translation: Devorah K.

14:10 Reihan-Barta'a CP
Only a few people are waiting above for a ride to Barta'a on the side of the seamline zone. Four cars are being inspected on their way to the seamline zone. Two more are waiting. There are no loaded pickup trucks at this time.
The seamstresses are returning to the West Bank from their work in East Barta'a. They arrive in the Palestinian parking lot in groups and are swallowed up by the taxis that take them to their homes. The calls of the Muezzins are heard from Zebda. In the parking lot shed a few people are praying.
A taxi arrives from Jenin. One of the passengers has a festive bouquet of flowers in her hand. This is an unusual sight in the CP. For some reason that is not clear to us, she and her friends have to wait for about ten minutes until they open the gate to the terminal.

15:10 Shaked-Tura CP
There is little traffic - pedestrian or vehicle - at this time. One person tells us that the new agricultural permit that he received said, by mistake, 'A'anin CP' instead of 'Shaked CP'. He now has to go to Salem to exchange the permit. This is after it was lost for a whole month between the Salem DCO and the Palestinian DCO in Jenin.

15:35 A'anin CP
At this time, residents of A'anin are returning to their homes from work. There is no queue. The gate is slightly open, and open wide only for tractors. Tractor trailers are full of people, mostly women. The soldiers did not believe one young girl who said she is fifteen. A soldier decided that she was 16 and needed an identity card. Only after he consulted with the DCO was the soldier convinced. A young fellow from the Bedoui village not far from the CP has a permit to go through at the Reihan CP. His wife is in a clinic in A'anin and the doctor determined that she has to go to the hospital in Jenin. The fellow asks to go through from here this once in order to take his wife to Jenin. Going all the way around to the Reihan CP  will take him an hour. At the DCO they agree to his request, but the CP commander refuses to talk to them via our telephone, and insists that the fellow go the long way around. After a short time the soldiers received their instructions and fellow was able to go through to his wife in A'anin.
15:55 A man from Umm el Reihan has family in A'anin and a permit to go through at the Shaked CP. He says that once a week he goes through to his family in A'anin in order to help them. This time the DCO did not help and the man is forced to go the long way round to the Reihan CP. We also wonder about this.
16:25 A large group of men arrives at the CP. One other man comes running after them. He arrived at the very last minute. The soldiers are already locking the CP, but he managed to get through. People are still complaining that their relatives have not received permits and there are not enough hands to help in the olive-picking. There are also some whose permits are no longer valid and the new permits that they have requested have not yet reached them.

16:45 Reihan-Barta'a CP
In the sleeveinfo-icon that goes down into the terminal there is a queue of about 70 people who want to return to the West Bank. All of them are tired after a day's work. Additional groups arrive and the queue gets longer and longer. Three women arrive with a babyinfo-icon and the tired men, very courteously let them jump the queue to enter the terminal. Only two windows are in operation. From time to time, individuals go through from the West Bank to the seamline zone and the passage of the workers is delayed. From time to time, people get caught in the turnstile, as if in a cage.
17:15 Anna phones Sharon, one of the people in charge of the CP, and asks him to open an additional window. Five minutes after that, a third inspection window is opened. The queue is still long, but the tempo of entering the terminal is much quicker. People tell us that the queue was especially long last Thursday, almost the whole length of the sleeve. They tell us too that during the last few days the passage to Israel through Taibe (the Gate of Ephraim?) is very difficult in the morning. (Many workers who live in the area of Jenin, are not allowed to go through to Israel through the Reihan-Barta'a CP and are forced to go through in Taibeh. They can, however, go back to the West Bank through the Reihan CP.)
17:30 Workers continue arriving at the CP. We leave.