'Anin, Tayba-Rummana, Tura-Shaked
We are cold and they are suffering.
06:40 –A'anin Checkpoint (Agricultural checkpoint open twice each week) "You only have new clothes in your home."
We heard shouting and arguing from the other side of the hill. Soldiers from the military police were in charge of the crossing as representatives of the occupation this morning. They were checking Palestinians' documents at the position near us at the main gate. It appeared to us that two people were being detained. Afterwards it became apparent that he had brought several packages of cigarettes as a present for a friend, but had to return them to the village because he had not brought a permit for them. Not only was it only ten degrees outside and cold, but the people's attitude seemed cold as well and they did not greet us as usual. One person asked us if we had brought clothing and when we said we had not brought any, he retorted that "You only have new clothes in your house."
07:05 – Tura Shaked "Fabric of Life" Checkpoint
What is there to check among children on their way to school?
We stayed in the car because of the cold and observed a steady but intermittent stream of men on their way to the nearby industrial zone and several women who were on their way to teach at the school in Um Reihan, a Palestinian rural town in the northern area of Shomron from the last days of the Second Temple and in the period of the Mishnah. Three little girls from Dahar Al Malec came up to the car window and smile "good morning" to us. They immediately asked for a pen but we did not give them. We wondered whether to give them or not. These girls and their brothers used to give us hostile looks and even threw stones and even spat at us. The older children pulled the younger ones away quickly. Today they smiled at us. One of the people in our group gave them small gifts to make children happy and to break down the barriers between us.
A car stopped next to us and the driver called to us, "Look, the soldiers are making little girls go into the inspection room alone. Why? What have they done? What are they liable to do?" His voice is full of concern. "Do something!" and he closed his window. We called the Liaison and Coordination Administration and after a long time a sleepy woman soldier answered with "OK, I'll pass it on."
08:00 – Tibeh Romana Checkpoint
The two of us drove from Mei Ami to Um Al Fahem to warm ourselves up in a coffee shop. Here people are always glad to see us and it's a good feeling. Students on their way to school as well as parents were buying spiced hot pita bread or pastrami sandwiches. The salesman immediately arranged a warm corner for us to sit using two chairs and an upside-down crate. After drinking coffee we drove through the alleyways of the city and reached the checkpoint just as the military police were opening it. They were the same soldiers who had opened the A'anin checkpoint. About 20 -30 pedestrians, four or five tractors, and K. in his golf cart were waiting on the other side of the fences, gates, and the security road. Everyone crossed quickly and everyone except for one person greeted us "Good morning" and shook hands. If you ask me, this expression of friendship is the most important thing that we have done over 15 years of activity. One person complimented the soldiers: "Today the military police are good."