'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 22.12.08, Afternoon
Translation: Devorah K.
12:45 Shaked-Tura CP
When we arrived three children, about six years old, came to the gate on the Tura side. The soldiers waved to them and signalled that they should go through the turnstile and into the inspection room. The children enter and leave immediately. I object and tell the soldiers that they should not have sent such little children by themselves into a place that is likely to frighten them. There is a loud argument (to the chagrin of my partner, I admit). No, the soldiers do not agree to show me the room that is likely, to my mind, to frighten little children, not even to allay my suspicions. And yes, sending them through that room was done for reasons of security.
A., a graduate in business administration from the El-Najah University, who speaks English fluently, returns from working at pruning his family's olive trees. The land, 200 dunams of olive trees, onions, tobacco, and pasture for sheep, belongs to his 90-year-old grandfather and his 55-year-old father, who are no longer capable of cultivating it. Of all his brothers, he is the only one who is permitted to cultivate the land. He himself has a special permit until the end of February. Despite the fact that he has an academic degree, he is forced to work as a farmer, because he believes that if the land is neglected it will be expropriated. He doesn't think he could hold on to it by himself.
In the meantime, everybody who comes to the CP, from both sides, enters the inspection room. At 13:10, from the direction of Tura, thirteen children, about 12 years old, arrive at the CP in pouring rain. They approach the soldiers and the soldiers make them return to the path that leads to the inspection room, and not in order to find shelter from the rain. The fact is that five of them immediately come out. Cars go through in both directions. The inspection lasts between two and seven minutes. Throughout this time, groups of children keep coming out of the inspection room. In one case, we counted nine children coming out in a group.
At 13:32 the CP is quiet.
13:40 Reihan-Barta'a CP
In the Hanukka candelabrum, two candles are lit. Workers are already returning from their work pruning olive trees in Barta'a. A small truck, loaded with blue sacks, is waiting on the road in the direction of the West Bank, at some distance. The driver signals us that they are not allowing him to go through. It turns out that he has to wait until the pickup trucks emerge from inspection, and indeed, after ten minutes, three pickup trucks come out and he is invited to enter.
The inspection shed is now empty. Inside the terminal only one window is in operation. Only a few people are going through to the seamline zone. The workers are waiting. Inside, six young men with bags and knapsacks are sitting on the bench. They are not permitted to go through the ordinary inspection post and at 14:00 they are invited to enter the terminal. The person in charge is kind enough to explain to us that these are illegal sojourners in Israel, who are being 'treated' ('treatment'? No, God forbid, not something serious, don't even think it. There are about 300,000 illegal sojourners in Israel.) Unfortunately, we did not track their exit from the terminal.
14:20 Four cars are now in the inspection shed.
14:40 The lower parking lot is full of cars waiting for workers, who, because of the rain, will return from work a good deal earlier. Four cars are still in the shed. Three cars are waiting on the road and two pickup trucks with goods are waiting in the parking lot. At 14:50 we are told that there is crowding at the turnstile. We go back up to the sleeve. Eight women are near the locked turnstile. It is opened and they go through quickly. Many workers, loaded down with sacks of oranges, arrive now and go through quickly. Between the posts the guards are talking about doughnuts and about the homosexual participant from the TV program 'Big Brother.'
15:28 A'anin CP
We arrived at about the time they locked the CP. There are two tractors at the gate. One goes through as we look at it. The second tractor is being inspected. It is pulling a small cart full of used clothes. The soldiers do not allow him to transport them. When we call him, Brigadier General A'adel does not agree either. In the end, he does talk to the commander in the area. After the conversation with them he lets us know that the decision is in the hands of the soldiers. They hold a laughing consultation and decide not to allow it. The owner of the tractor, about 50 years old, someone who works hard for little money, leaves most of what he has on the cart on a sheet of nylon between two trees. He is tired and disappointed: "This is the way peace is? This way?" The soldiers wait for him and lock the gate behind him at 16:05.