'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 16.2.09, Afternoon
Leah R, Anna NS
15:00 Jalame Checkpoint
We brought here a mother with a sick baby, from dialysis at Rambam Hospital, on their way home to Jenin. At this hour, agricultural labourers are returning to the West Bank, scores of women with their paltry packages, aged 40 or more, or perhaps much younger. A few score men crossing to Israel. A lot of cars with yellow (Israeli) number plates in the parking lot. The place is flowering. Pots blossoming and preparations for plantings. The pedestrian area is under the supervision of a security company, as opposed to the vehicle area which is in the hands of the army. The only way to Jenin, for Israeli Arabs too, is through the terminal.
17:00 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
Few passing either way. According to the soldiers, about 120 crossed. They are not listing unless the transients are not Seam Zone residents, who must return the same day. That’s why it is difficult to know the exact number. Quite a feww cross both ways a number of times a day. Residents are allowed to carry through food and other goods in household quantities. The precise amount is at the sole discretion of the commander.
Transients in both directions must be checked in the hut. Each day and its new rules...
The checkpoint is open between 07:00 and 19:30 with a break between 10:00 and 12:00
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.
17:40 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
We are told that military vehicles circulated last night in Yaabed. Youngsters threw stones at them and a riot ensued. The soldiers broke into houses and scared the residents.
Many coming back now from work and crowding the sleeve descending to the terminal. During our shift, 200 or more went through. As usual, only one window is open in the terminal. S. is not available and the DCO does not answer. Phone communication is bad. Heavy rain is falling and it is very cold, and weary men are exposed to all that as they wait outside the terminal, or are trapped in the turnstiles with their packages.
There are three detainees – young boys who arrived without permits, to be joined by three more later. Only after half an hour did we succeed in talking to the DCO. The duty officer did not relate to the crowding at the entrance, and his explanations about the detainees did not sound reasonable to us. Before we left, we gave our phone number to one of the detainees so he could report to us.
19:00 – we leave, many standing in the entrance to the terminal. On the way one of the detainees phones to say that all but one have been released.
Comment: some of those returning came this morning from Taibe. Many complaints about the heavy pressure in the morning. They beg us to get there...