Reihan, Shaked, Wed 26.11.08, Morning
Translation: Devorah K.
When we arrived at the CP (from the side of the seamline zone), a tractor was parked there with a cart loaded with sacks of olives and empty jerrycans. The jerrycans were for oil that would be produced from the olives in an olive press, and the tractor driver has been waiting for more than an hour and is not allowed to go through. He lives in the seamline zone in Hirbet Radiyeh, near the "grocery". He has 2000 olive trees which he is now harvesting. He transports the olives to the press in Tura to produce the oil. Afterwards he brings the oil back in jerrycans to the seamline zone.
The man has a problem and this is his story: The civilian administration counted his olive trees together with him and according to the number of trees, they estimated the quantity of olives that he is permitted to transport through the CP to the press in Tura on the other side of the CP, and the quantity of oil that would be produced and could be brought back to the seamline zone. This year he had a bigger crop of olives than he expected; the man is not allowed to transport the additional crop without a special permit and he will not be allowed to return the oil without a special permit. What can he do? The trees were more fruitful than anticipated and the man is trying, unsuccessfully, to transport the olives to the olive press. He phones the DCO, sometimes they answer and sometimes they don't even pick up the phone (maybe they already know his number, and his request). The soldiers in the CP have not received permission to let the olives through; and the time that is passing is not to the good. We phoned the DCO, the officer was at a meeting, but after we explained the issue, they promised us that "they will do everything". After another hour, the permit did arrive. Until now we have never heard of the peculiar arrangement of quotas!
There was another sad case at the CP: Two children, aged seven and ten, from poor families that do not own olive trees, went out on two donkeys to collect olives left in the groves at the borders of the groves near the CP. The children wanted to come back with a sack of olives and the two donkeys. But (1) they did not have a permit, and (2) they did not have a permit for the donkeys. They were not allowed to go through with the sack and the donkeys. The children tied the donkeys to one of the trees and they threw the sack down at the side. When the soldiers went by the sack, one of them spit (!) on the olives. The children went through the CP without the olives and without the donkeys. We had two bags of clothes and we asked the soldiers at least to let the children take the second-hand clothes. They did allow that.
10:10 - 10:50 Reihan-Barta'a CP
Because we were forbidden to go down to the Palestinian parking lot, we did not see anything. People went through in a reasonable time, 10 -20 minutes. The pickup trucks with vegetables also went through. There were only two.