'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked
06:05 Barta`a Riehab checkpoint
Many workers are waiting on the seamline zone side for their rides to work. Many more are coming through the sleeve and there does not seem to be any coordination between the opening hours of the checkpoint and the schedule for workers' transport. On the Palestinian side there is a long waiting line that extends nearly as far as the road. One usher wearing an orange iridescent vest is collecting parking fees, while another two wearing black vests are keeping order. Our friend B., who has worked in the carpet factory in Shahak for many years, tells us that he was forced to take an unpaid vacation day on the evening of Yom Kippur and the following day. Luckily he has work in the olive harvest as well.
06:40 – A'anin Checkpoint
The checkpoint is open and people are already crossing. A man and woman soldier approached us even before we reach the checkpoint and attempted to make us leave. When she learned that we had a right to be there, the woman soldier became very angry. She parked the army vehicle so that it blocked part of the gate, making it difficult for the tractors to pass. (Elia's photo) The male soldier was a bit embarrassed.
Many people continued to cross and told us that many permits had been issued for the olive harvest and that there had been few problems. They also reported that the soldiers were behaving well. After the pedestrians crossed the tractors arrived, with women sitting in the wagons. There is an atmosphere of the olive harvest in the air. We were treated to a beautiful sunrise. Our friend M. told us that on Yom Kippur the checkpoint was closed but that the checkpoint had opened and closed at 13:00 in the afternoon. To our surprise there was a sign hanging on the gate with the opening hours during the olive harvest: 06:30 – 07:00, 12:0 – 13:00, and 15:30 – 16:00. These were the same hours that had been publicized at the Liaison and Coordination Administration.
By 07:15 everyone had crossed and the soldiers locked the gates. We were told that approximately 120 people had crossed.
Six boys and a girl from the Bedouin family that lives below the checkpoint arrive to be driven to school in Um A Reihan in the seamline zone.
07:30 – Tura Shaked Checkpoint
Adults crossed to the seamline zone, most were on their way to work. Children crossed to the West Bank to get to school in Tura. A couple crossed to the seamline zone in a horse – drawn wagon. The man complained that he had to tie the horse up on the side of the checkpoint and wait a long time to cross. The horse left droppings on the seamline zone side in protest….
People complained that the checkpoint only opens from Sundays to Wednesday at 06:30 and on Thursdays to Saturdays at 07:00. Since when is Thursday part of the weekend?
08:20 – We left an empty checkpoint. The facilities look out of place, as always.