Reihan, Shaked, Sun 16.11.08, Morning
05:50 Aanin Checkpoint
Perhaps 40 people are already out. Again we encounter a despairing man, none of whose family have received agricultural permits, and he struggles alone with olive picking. Somebody else tells us that his agricultural permit is about to expire in these days, and though he has not yet finished the harvest, they won’t give him a new permit. Slow trickle of people (two a minute), but they tell us that a great many people (around 100) are still waiting to enter the terminal. Tractors, women, and children will cross last.
06:20 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
The checkpoint opened at 05:00. Because of the ban on entering the Palestinian parking lot, we can only observe in the Seam Zone. In the terminal, a tremendous crowding of people, but up to 06:20 only one window is functioning. Another opens until 06:45 and the pace does pick up.
People are complaining mainly about crossing in the afternoons. The pressure is heavy and there are not enough functioning windows. It is only after much shouting that an additional window is opened.
Four cars are being checked on their way to the Seam Zone. Their passengers are already through and waiting in the upper lot.
A taxi with passengers passes into the West Bank, the passengers present magnetic cards and IDs for inspection, and are on their way within five minutes.
07:05 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
The checkpoint is open, but people only begin to pass at 07:15. More than 50 people are crowded at the gate on the West Bank side, with donkeys, a flock of sheep and cars. After five minutes the flock passes, followed by people who begin to file into the inspection room. Men riding donkeys cross without entering the room.
In the direction of the West Bank: schoolchildren are crossing immediately without a check. Teachers only show IDs. A van passes with schoolchildren. They do not allow a sick girl on her way to hospital in Israel to pass first, nor do they forego her entry into the inspection room.
By comparison with recent days, there are many soldiers at the checkpoint. Cars are crossing in both directions simultaneously. Cars carrying schoolchildren and students cross into the West Bank immediately. Loud shouting at the turnstiles, following which a group of workers pass from the West Bank to the Seam Zone without any check. Moti from Mevo Dotan has come to collect his workers.
At 07:30 when we left, 20 men were still waiting, as were four cars, to enter the Seam Zone.
07:45 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
Everything is routine; four cars on their way to the Seam Zone are being checked. Their passengers are already waiting up above. Ten pickups with produce waiting to be inspected. Some are already being checked in the closed compound. Pedestrians crossing in both directions.