'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tayba-Rummana, Tura-Shaked
It’s become a routine. Is that good or bad?
06:00 Main Barta’a checkpoint
During Ramadan the Palestinians start the days very early in the morning so many of them go through the checkpoints much earlier than usual. This morning we found the area empty, not yet filled with hundreds of people waiting as it has been since it’s been possible to cross here to work in Israel. The locals told us that today’s situation wasn’t typical. They said at least five booths inside the terminal were open – which is another reason people crossed quickly.
06:35 A’anin agricultural gate 214
The checkpoint opened on time and people had begun crossing by the time we arrived. Inspections were conducted at the middle gate where A., the DCL representative was present in the white Toyota; he’s one of those who decides who’s allowed through. Today, apparently because of him, a few children under 16 weren’t allowed through; they’re still listed on the parents’ ID cards. Summer vacation has begun, and obviously children will come to the checkpoint with their parents and accompany them to work. But the DCL has its own rules, and parents whose children weren’t allowed through couldn’t explain why some were permitted to cross and others weren’t. We wanted to speak to the DCL guy but the white Toyota drove off on the security road toward the Tura checkpoint. An Israeli flag on the gate is caught in the barbed wire. How symbolic.
07:20 Tura: “Fabric of life” checkpoint 300
The first sight which greets us is an overflowing garbage bin, whose stink fills the air. An additional ugly symbol of occupation. The soldiers themselves fill it and apparently don’t care that people wait in the shed alongside their garbage. Only a few people are crossing at this hour from the West Bank to the seam zone. Pupils are on vacation and their absence is noticeable.
08:00 Tayibe-Rummaneh agricultural checkpoint 154
Border Police soldiers arrived on time today and crossing proceeded without delays, in the usual manner of late: they collect IDs and when one person has been checked they call the next name. A resident of Umm el Fahm arrived in his car at the checkpoint. He said he came to see what goes on here; he’d never been before. At least he knows it’s here, which many residents don’t.
On the way home we visited Walid at his job. Black from charcoal from head to toe he appeared sadder than usual, in despair because of the boring existence, the dangerous work, the absence of hope. It’s not really because of the occupation. We returned home very sad.