'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 2.2.09, Morning

Leah R., Anna N-S

Translated by Louis Williams

06:00 Aanin (Agricultural) Checkpoint

The checkpoint is open, the inspection is at the gate in the centre of the checkpoint. The soldier checks passes and compares ID numbers to his list. The process is slow and particularly tiresome at this cold hour of the morning. Few people are arriving at the checkpoint for the reason already noted -- expired permits are not being renewed.

The DCO vehicle arrives and the DCO rep clarifies over the phone and accompanies the soldiers’ activity at the checkpoint. This does not help in speeding up the process.

06:30 – the lower checkpoint gate closes and 30 men and women move up to wait in the centre of the checkpoint.
A woman passes and asks our help in renewing her pass, while explaining her credo: she only relies on the Hamas – they are people of God and their words are those of the living God. While she is talking, her eyes shine. All the others (Abu Mazen and his contingent) are awarded a dismissive expression on her face. She relates proudly that each evening she reads the holy writings: the Koran and the Halacha. Yes. She knows how to read them, she says.

06:45 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
Most of the men and women workers have already passed. Again there are delays at Emricha Checkpoint, on the way to Jenin. They open late and check slowly. A constant long line of private cars down the curve of the road towards Reihan Checkpoint. Five cars are being checked in the usual pose – all doors wide open. Seven vans are waiting for 07:00, for the beginning of inspection in the fenced cargo compound.
On the Tura side, in the West Bank, more than 20 people are waiting, crowded together by the turnstile at the entrance to the hut. When they exit the checkpoint, some of them wait for transport that will take them to their fields. Schoolchildren pass on their way to school in the West Bank. Students (mostly women) also pass on the mud track behind the stone rail.

07:50 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint

A group of youngsters comes out to work in Bartaa – perhaps 30 of them, took them half an hour in the checkpoint. At the entrance to the terminal people say that the transit pace is reasonable, there are no unnecessary delays. Only one window is functioning and this is significant when people are in a hurry and must get together to their transport. They relate that sometimes, as they pass in a group, one of the soldiers stops a youngster, puts him into a room for a long time and interrogates him, and then the whole group is forced to wait for him. No. They don’t know what the soldier and their comrade are talking about in the room. At least that’s what they say.

08:30 – we leave.