'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked
15:00 – A'anin Checkpoint
The soldiers arrived punctually and opened the checkpoint. About 50 people crossed quickly, and a few arrived at 15:30 when the checkpoint was about to close.
At 15:30 the soldiers locked the gates, but after a minute or so a young man showed up. The gate opened for a vehicle from the border patrol but we did not see where it came from, and the gate was immediately locked again. The young man remained outside. We called the soldiers and one arrived, opened the gate, and delivered a lecture to the young man of "Why were you late? This is the last time…" The young man replied, "OK" and crossed through. I added a thank you and "happy new year".
15:45 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint
Things are quiet as usual. Suddenly three attractive young women cross to the seamline zone wearing elaborate traditional dress and makeup. Two beautiful small girls and a baby were with them. They were also elaborately dressed like princesses with sequins and wearing makeup as well. We complimented them. Meanwhile a young man, the father of the baby and spoke Hebrew arrived in a car. They were residents of Dahar Al Malakh and were coming from Jenin, where they bought the clothing and were made up for the man's brother's wedding in Dahar al Malakh. We congratulated them and wished them a life as lovely as the girls.
16:15 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side
Many people are walking down the sleeve to the entrance on their way home. We walked with them trying not to get in the way. Everyone entered through the turnstile quickly. The machine that checks permits was not working. There were also a few women among the people crossing.
At 17:00 a man approached us in the parking lot as we were ready to leave. He had a permit that was about to expire in a few days and was having trouble crossing. A few more people came up who spoke Hebrew but we were unable to understand what the problem was.
It is important to come to the checkpoints with new members or guests so that they can see what is going on through a newcomer's eyes that are not yet used to what is happening.