'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 1.12.08, Afternoon

Lea R. and Anna N. S.

Translation: Devorah K.

15:40 A'anin CP
A few dozen people are crowding opposite the CP on their way back home to the village of A'anin and there are also some tractors and pickup trucks. At the opening there stands a man with a list of names in his hand; 42 have gone through since the CP was opened. The soldiers are trying to behave courteously, but they are pressured by the large number of people. They try to quiet the loud arguments with gestures.
16:25 - A sick boy of about 15, with a birth certificate and his father's documents, asks to return to A'anin. Since he came without his father, the soldiers do not allow him to go through. In the morning they allowed him to go out to the seamline zone - what has changed since then? We call the DCO. After the third call, the woman soldier tells us that she has passed the matter over to the brigade. Patience, please. Courtesy according to the book that has no respect and no consideration.

The boy turns to the soldier and begs him, 'b'hiatek'. The soldier does not understand Arabic. He says: 'Tell him to come tomorrow with his father; today he will go through at the very end, after everybody else has gone through.' I translate for the boy, he is very nervous and curses quietly. Doesn't a sick boy deserve some consideration?

16:30 - The boy goes through, but not before they warn him in Hebrew that this is the 'last time'. The boy, who understood what they were saying, answers happily in Arabic 'tomorrow sure sure I'll bring him [in your ear]!'  

Some people are worried; they do not know how long the olive-picking will be allowed to go on. Should they come tomorrow? Or should they stay home? They ask us. Lea goes to find out. A., the head of the DCO, says that he will come to the olive grove tomorrow to check the crop, and then he will decide.

16:45 Shaked-Tura CP

A resident of Umm el-Fahm wants to buy oil from one of his employees, to help him a bit. But his permit was not renewed and he cannot go through the CP. Since he is not the owner of the oil, he is not allowed to convey it to him, except if he makes arrangements in advance. At this time mostly cars are going through; and a few people are returning home after the day's work. Some little children are playing on the road and no one stops them. Their parents are busy picking olives.

17:20 the new Reihan-Barta'a CP

In the shed people are praying on their knees. Only a few are going through to the seamline zone. When we went down to the terminal through the sleeveinfo-icon, we saw a meeting of two Palestinians - one going down and one coming up. On the other side of the fence the security guard scolds them and urges them to separate and go on their ways. I ask the man coming up what the other man wanted. He says that he does not know. They were not allowed to talk. Immediately, we hear a loud rebuke: 'If you want to talk, then go up.' We gave up the idea.
In the sleeve there are groups of people coming back tired and exhausted. Since 3 a.m. they have been on their feet. A number of detaineesinfo-icon are waiting on the bench. Afterwards they are sent home. They tell us about the pressure at the Taibeh CP during the morning and ask us to go to observe things there. Now they are waiting patiently - it's impossible to know where they get the patience from - after a day's work. Quietly. They complain quietly and talk quietly about their problems and troubles: permits that have not been renewed, ill treatment of 'go and come again' - a runaround at the DCO, wasted lives, the occupation and what it does to a person and to his soul -- even if the CP is very efficient.
17:30 - there is pressure on the single window / post that is in operation in the terminal. We ask the soldiers to open an additional post. After some time, when the pressure inside has diminshed, the turnstile is opened for a few seconds and people burst in with their booty: bags and picnic boxes and other packages. The last ones in are trapped in the turnstile - with a hand in the seamline zone and a foot already on the West Bank. And there is nobody to take care of the problem that has made trouble for a long time. Above the bridge some armed soldiers are walking, we hear them scolding those returning for every little thing that they see as undesirable behavior. The turnstile and the people trapped in it are not interesting.
17:45 The passage is halted and people crowd near the windows. The workers of the security firm arrive in the CP. They are armed. It is impossible to see or to know what is happening. Those nearby tell us that somebody was caught with a counterfeit document. One sinner and the whole crowd is punished. In the meantime, they wait. Within ten minutes the passage is opened again. Only ten minutes but the waiting that is not defined in advance is nerve-wracking, especially for people after a hard day's work.

18:10   We left.