Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan

Rachel Weizman, Hassida Shafran (Reporting), Charlotte: Guest Student from Germany Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

A'anin Agricultural Checkpoint, Open Twice Each Week

We arrived at the checkpoint at 15:00 and it was already open.  Tractors and even a truck were crossing.  The vehicles were loaded with  used chairs, blankets, and mattresses.  Everyone crossed without being checked.    This idyllic picture reminded me of days when people were not permitted to bring anything into the village.   I recalled broken plastic chairs that Palestinians wanted to bring across but the soldiers did not permit them, and the chairs were thrown on the ground near the checkpoint.  There is a factory near A'anin that buys various materials to be recycled, and this is another way that people who have difficulty earning a living can earn a few shekels.   People's olive groves are on the other side of the separation fence and they are only permitted to cross during the olive harvest.  Throughout the rest of the year the checkpoint is only open twice each week, so people cannot tend crops such as fruits and vegetables for their own use the rest of the year.  The pedestrians crossed first followed by the vehicles and then the checkpoint closed until the following Thursday.

We could see houses in the nearby settlement and decided to go see them from up close.  We explained to our guest about the "seamline zone", how the area was divided into areas A, B, and C, and who is allowed in each category.  We explained about the Oslo agreement that now appears strange.  We entered the settlement of Shaked to see how people lived there.  A large taxi stopped and a woman got out who had come from the pool.  She politely asked what we wanted.  We explained about the Jewish-owned factories that are located on Palestinian land, and failed to mention that most of the workers in these factories are Palestinians.   Later we saw long lines of contractors and employers driving workers who are building the city of Harish.

Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

This checkpoint is filled with unnecessary equipment – a stoplight that leads nowhere, a metal gate with an arm that goes up and down whenever necessary, and as usual, very little traffic.   We met a man who lives a few minutes' walk from the checkpoint in Area A but his tobacco field is located in Area C near the army camp.   Soon the tobacco will be ripe and will need to be picked and dried.  Logic dictates that he will be able to bring the crop to his home in Tura,  but illogically he must bring the tobacco across at Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint that is much further away through Yaabed that is much further away and expensive to drive.    The occupation does not care how Palestinians make a living.  We could do nothing but give him Sylvia's phone number.

We passed Barta'a Checkpoint on our way to Yaabed Checkpoint.  Evidently a lot of workers have already gone home for Ramadan.  There were no soldiers on the road from Emricha to Mevo Dotan or in the watchtower.  The yellow gate that is locked as usual and there was no sign of soldiers.   We distributed more of Sylvia's cards.

On our way back to Barta'a Checkpoint we met a family from the Kabha clan.  One of the terrorists who killed two soldiers in the attack that took place here was a member of that huge clan that is scattered in East and West Barta'a and the surrounding villages.  Now the entire family has had their permits revoked and poured their hearts out to us in Hebrew.  They are acquainted with Sylvia.

Five Palestinian women were walking up the sleeveinfo-icon at Reihan Checkpoint.

We drove home through the city of Harish that is under construction.