Anin Agricultural checkpoint – 48 hours of arrest under deplorable conditions
Illegal arrest for 48 hours under deplorable conditions at Anin Checkpoint ended in NOTHING!
On Monday, April 3, 2023, in her report from a vigil at the Anin Checkpoint, Hannah Heller wrote of two Palestinians she saw sitting, arrested/detained at the checkpoint. Passersby told her they were caught while trying to cross the fence around Anin that day, and were brought to the checkpoint at 2 p.m. She neither saw nor knew that at the same time, there were another two detainees at the checkpoint – a father and his son of the Waked family of Arakah village, 8 kilometers north-west of Jenin. They were caught as illegal aliens in the Arab-Israeli town of Umm Al Fahm on Saturday, at 10 p.m., and were taken directly to the Anin checkpoint where they were held as detainees for 48 hours!
Anin checkpoint is agricultural, opened twice a week for farmer from the West Bank to cross through, and lately for non-farmers as well. Since the army sealed the breaches in the fence (not all of them), 2-3 soldiers are present there at all hours, watching over the fence and making sure no one breaches it there. A huge breach had been there through which Palestinians of the West Bank passed into Israel freely for a long time. Now there is a tiny hut there, with windows and a door. In this hut the father (61) and son (18) had been locked for 48 hours, sitting on 2 chairs, all that time with hands shackled in front of their bodies. For the first 10 hours they were also blindfolded, until they dared take off the blindfold themselves, and put it back when the soldiers were near.
When they were arrested on Saturday evening, they had already had the Ramadan meal that breaks the fast. From Saturday night until Sunday night they were fasting again. At 7 p.ml a soldier or offer came and said he would send them food. After an hour, a soldier came with 6 dry rolls and a water bottle with cups. The water container at the checkpoint was empty, the soldiers gave them water from their personal bottles, as well as preparing tea and coffee. Later, after 9 p.m., a soldier brought them a reasonable meal.
It was very cold both nights. They could not lie on the hut floor for lack of room. They had nothing to warm them and were not invited to sit next to the campfire the soldiers used to warm themselves. They passed the night sitting a chair, shackled, suffering from the cold. When the need arose, a soldier accompanied them to relieve themselves outdoors.
Their family looked for them the whole time, not finding them. They hired a lawyer who called the Palestinian DCO and the Israeli police stations, but there was no record of their detention anywhere. Only Monday afternoon, when the checkpoint was opened again, did the father ask a passing acquaintance to call the family and tell them where he and his son have been. The man also took a picture and forwarded it to the family, to prove they were still alive. Another son immediately arrived with cigarettes and money but the soldiers wouldn’t let him through. When Hannah Heller came for her vigil at Anin, the father asked that she be told to come to the hut. Hannah approached the soldiers who opened the gate and asked about the two. A woman-soldier answered that they would be picked up soon but didn’t say where to. Hannah didn’t know of another two Palestinians held at the hut.
Around 5 p.m., nearly two days detention in an improvised facility under outrageous conditions, were the four detainees taken to the detention facility at Salem DCO. There they had their fingerprints taken and were released immediately, no questioning, not a word said.
The son was waiting outside and took them home.