'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 1.1.09, Morning
Translated by L.W
First shift of 2009, sixth day of the war in Gaza
06:05 Aanin Checkpoint
The gates are open. No one has yet passed. Very cold.
06:10 – The first pass. The rate is slow. The soldiers assign numbers, and each man is requested to remember his number in order to return in the afternoon. One man asks that we write the number on a piece of paper, so he doesn’t forget.
A woman is unable to pass with her son. The boy is tall, and the soldiers suspect that he is older than 18. The woman goes back to bring his birth certificate. He is 13 and truly very tall.
06:55 – we are told that more than fifty people are waiting. The soldiers keep order and push the people back.
A few of the people passing wish us a happy new year. No one mentions events in Gaza.
07:10 – the soldiers shut the gate on the Aanin side. Scores of people and four tractors are crowded between the fences.
07:20 – we leave before the passage ends.
07:25 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
Light traffic. A friendly soldier tells us that only five cars have passed so far. The soldier doesn’t know about the Palestinian school holidays for the new civil year, and is surprised that schoolchildren and students haven’t appeared at the checkpoint this morning.
07:45 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
Perhaps 20 people working in East Bartaa are waiting at the gate on the Palestinian side. They enter and wait again, this time in the hut before the terminal entrance. Apparently the terminal is blocked because of the incident. People continue to arrive, passing the gate in fives and waiting in the hut.
08:20 – most of the people waiting are already in the terminal. Four private cars and four tenders are being inspected. An additional three tenders are waiting in the parking lot.
Our friend the driver, A. tells us that there are no special problems at Mevo Dotan - Emricha Checkpoint, which was already open at 04:20 this morning.
08:30 – we descended the sleeve to the terminal opening on the Seam Zone side. People coming up tell us that transit is taking about an hour. Two positions are open.
08:50 – one position closes. The pressure is over. People coming through now say that transit is taking about 20 minutes.
08:55 – we leave. Seven private cars are waiting at this hour from the West Bank to the Seam Zone. One car is being checked on its way to the West Bank. The engine compartment is open and the female checker is inspecting the inside of the engine with a torch.