'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 17.11.08, Morning

Leah R., Anna N.S.

Translated by L.W

05:40 Aanin (Agricultural) Checkpoint

The checkpoint opened at 05:30 and the first ones to go through report that about 80 people and an agricultural vehicle are waiting. A new regulation forbids residents to take out “commercial” quantities of oil containers from Aanin, for fear that they will reach Israel – so says the Head of DCO Salem. Passageis efficient. Soldiers check IDs and validity of passes, shortening waiting time. People come out with oil containers. The rejected containers are distributed from a tractor.

It is said of one man that his ID is a forgery. Others contend that it is not true. The ID is worn and creased, but not forged. The soldiers refuse to take the residents’ suggestion that they phone the DCO to find out what to do. Ples of clay roof tiles are still lying around between olive trees: somebody’s roof is leaking, but who cares! At 06:00, 30 people are waiting.

A man tells us that his olive grove is alongside the road westward, and he is therefore forbidden to pick there. We called the DCO, and the man was required to call for clarification. At 06:25 we left.

06:40 Reihan-New Bartaa Checkpoint

go down the sleeveinfo-icon to the terminal, Leah goes to the lower parking lot with bags of clothes to deliver. Security company men don’t allow her in.  "Stand here, not that way, there." S. summons a Palestinian with a supermarket cart to collect the bags and take them down to the lower (Palestinian) parking lot. Leah is denied access to the area to which I have been going every day for five years.

All the while, the vehicle checkpoint is full of “non-dangerous” vehicles from right to left. In the middle of the road, an added iron gate – not clear for what purpose. Few people passing to the West Bank and back. They claim that transit is “okay.” At rush hour a second window opens, but now there's only one.

An old man walking alongside the sleeve says: “Look what they’re doing! Flowers and toys. For you land is for beauty – for us it is life! But they took it from us... and now we have no life...”

A woman with an injury to her foot is waiting half an hour for a taxi, which is being checked. The woman was to go to Bartaa for medical treatment. When the taxi arrives, she totters to it, her face creased with pain.

I very much wanted to go down to the bus stop from where we can observe the checkpoint without interference, but instead we went to Tura.

07:26 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint

note the time of arrival in my notebook. A man turns to me and asks suspiciously why I am writing the number of his car. I show him what I have written, and the episode closes with a smile.

Lots of pressure at the checkpoint, on both sides. From the direction of the Seam Zone, mostly cars waiting, and from the West Bank , mostly workers, donkeys and a few bicycles. Most of the schoolchildren have already passed.

Transit through the inspection room is exceedingly slow. More and more workers are coming all the time...


07:46 – about 40 men waiting to enter the Seam Zone. The pace has picked up a little. Communication between soldiers and residents comes down to two words: “hey” and “yalla,” with additions – “hey, forward,” “hey, backward,” “yalla out,” “yalla come,” “yalla back,” “yalla go.”

We meet our acquaintance who was ordered to fill holes he had dug in his land on the West Bank (the order was laid on the ground beside a hole). He brought the documents to show us. On them was written “performed” in Area A - Israel ... just that, in blue on white ( while area A is the Palestinian Authority). We reported it to the lawyer of ACRI. He was not surprised. He said that he often encounters such mistakes.

A man from Tura told us that yesterday evening (Sunday) two military jeeps entered the village. Children were provoked and threw stones. The soldiers gave chase and caught... a young man (20) who was sitting in the entrance to his shop. They decided to make do with the one victim and they arrested him. Obviously nobody bothered to tell the family where he was being held. After clarification, whic took several hours, it became clear that he was detained in Salem – and Leah informed the family.

In conclusion, as usual, we met angry and frustrated people, because of permits that were either not given or confiscated, he distress of crossing from side to side, contempt for the Palestinians’ time and insults to their pride. We encountered misery derived from the Occupation, despite attempts to disguise it as something else. We encountered pain, anxiety, and hatred, for which the checkpoint serves as a hothouse.

08:20 – we left.