'Anin, Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 19.3.09, Afternoon
Miriam B, Neta G (reporting)
14:35 Jalame Checkpoint
We brought little Aya and her mother from Rambam Hospital to the checkpoint so they could go home to the West Bank. The parking lot is full of cars of Israeli Arabs. Some of them are already returning at this hour from visiting the West Bank. Palestinians working in Israel are beginning to return. There is no pressure at this hour. The gardening works are beginning to compete with those at Reihan Bartaa Checkpoint.
15:15 Aaanin Checkpoint
The last of the farmers who crossed to the Seam Zone this morning are returning to Aanin. According to the checkpoint commander, a lieutenant, 21 men crosse4d. A 13 year old boy was not allowed to cross. We understood that the boy was staying with his grandmother in Um el Reihan (in the Seam Zone) and wanted to return home to Aanin, but came to the checkpoint without a parent and having no ID. The commander says that he does not know whether the boy is really from Aanin, maybe he just wants to cross. The boy does not speak Hebrew. Neither we nor the soldiers speak Arabic. T., the officer, and afterwards with the checkpoint commander, on my phone. Good ending – the soldiers open the checkpoint gates, which were already locked, and the boy crosses. Everything handled pleasantly, but a little difficult to understand why this "clearing up" didn’t happen without our intervention.
15:45 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
Little traffic at this hour. Three "unemployed" soldiers sitting in the hut within the checkpoint, with the Israeli flag fluttering above them. The parents of one of the soldiers came to visit. Another family meeting: a woman with her three daughters arrives in a car with Israeli number plates at the hut on the Seam Zone side. The woman is a resident of (Israeli) West Bartaa. Her husband, father of the girls, is from (West Bank) Tura, next to the checkpoint. The mother and daughters have come to meet the grandparents. The emotional encounter takes place in the hut, with heaps of kisses. Meanwhile, the grandfather exploits our presence to say that he has 20 dunam in the Seam Zone, and has the only agricultural permit to cultivate the land. There is a lot of work, and his sons are not allowed to help.
16:20 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
The Palestinian parking lot is full of vehicles waiting to transport workers who will soon return from their jobs. Few are crossing from the West Bank to the Seam Zone. Three cars are being inspected, with the help of a mirror, at the vehicle checkpoint.
16:40 – we move to the sleeve on the Seam Zone side. Workers returning from Israel, many carrying sacks of citrus. They complain about the morning crowding at Taibe Checkpoint (Irtah- Shaarei Ephraim). They say that someone fell and was crushed, and an ambulance was su8mmoned to take him to hospital in Tulkarm. Here the pace is reasonable, and there is no line forming in the sleeve while we are there. The transients would be happy if they could cross here in the mornings on their way to work, as had been the case for a while.
17:00 – we leave the checkpoint.