'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Ya'bed-Dotan
This shift took place the day the Israeli Minister of Security called for a boycott of Um Al Fahem in response to stone throwing at Israeli vehicles on the part of residents of the city.
On our way to Yaabed Checkpoint we noticed the lights of a military jeep near the pillbox on the hill opposite the junction. To the east are Jenin and Yaabed and to the west are Chermesh and Kapin, and to the north is the Barta'a Reihan checkpoint, which appears quiet as usual. We decided to drive up and were surprised to discover that the soldiers were not upset by our invasion of the place and did not prevent us from observing their activities, the rocky surroundings, and the heartbreaking Palestinian village of Emricha.
15:15 – Chermesh Checkpoint
We wanted to see the deep cracks in the road for ourselves. Similar ones have already been removed at Yaabed Checkpoint. The checkpoint was unmanned. For drivers who pass through every day it is no laughing matter and they attempt to pass through on the sides of the road to avoid the cracks.
15:30 – Yaabed Checkpoint
There are a larger numbers of soldiers and vehicles in the area of Emricha. The soldiers told us that last week a bus that was driving along a regular route was shot at. The Yaabed Checkpoint was not manned and traffic was moving.
15:45 – Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint
The parking lot was completely filled and we made our way to the only turnstile that was turning without stopping and letting people through to the West Bank. The few people going in the opposite direction were pleading to change the direction of the turnstile so that they could cross. Many people asked Elia for help with permits, fines, and clarifying various things, and she answered everyone with remarkable patience. We thought that one driver shouted at us, "Mukhabarat!" (Special Security forces) and this was the only exception to the warm manner that Palestinians at the Barta'a Checkpoint receive us Machsom Watchers.
16:30 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint
A frightened goat was tied to an electricity pole near the checkpoint to be taken across in the morning to Tura on the other side of the checkpoint. The soldiers claimed that there was no permit to take the goat across right now. The soldiers is busy on the phone, waiting for permission from the Liaison and Coordination Administration at Salem. Traffic is light as usual and the sight of the goat waiting to cross at the red light is surreal.
We returned home via Um Al Fahem. To our disappointment the art gallery was closed. No one in the city seems the least bothered by our presence nor by our Minister of Security.