'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Hermesh, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan
14:50 – Hermesh Checkpoint
This checkpoint is located at the junction next to the settlement of Hermesh. Concrete blocks on the road force drivers to zigzag past it. The watchtower beside the road looks neglected and abandoned. On the northern side of the road, next to the settlement, lives a community of Turkman shepherds. One of their ancestors is buried in the Muslim cemetery near Yokneam. Some of them are tractor drivers in the nearby settlement. Their families live in Jenin and earn their living producing cheese. Sometimes we visit them. They have a magnificent view all the way to the sea. Crocuses grow among rocks that protect them from grazing herds. A young tractor driver answers our question and tells us that their relations with Nadav from the farm to the north are good.
15:15 Yaabed Checkpoint
The drivers are going through the concrete blocks as usual. A soldier is looking down from the watchtower. Wadi Yaabed (the Dotan Valley) has been plowed and prepared for the winter.
15:40 A’anin Checkpoint
3 tractors were already waiting opposite the inner gate, the only one that was still locked. Three more were waiting in the road. Three women were sitting under the darkened shed. An army jeep arrived at 15:50 and within 3 minutes everyone had disappeared up the road to the village. An officer and soldier approached us to send us away behind the concrete blocks, claiming that this is a military zone. They had not heard of MachsomWatch and didn’t appear to be particularly interested.
16:10 Tura – Shaked Checkpoint
We only wanted to peek at this “boring” checkpoint for a minute, but a big commotion was going on. A lot of cars were driving towards us and later we found out that they had given up waiting. There were many cars in the checkpoint as well as a lot of people, which was unusual for this quiet checkpoint. The army was conducting training exercises! Someone told us he had been waiting there for an hour “instead of being at home with the children.” Some women attempted to rest on the benches (of which only the frames remained). We asked a woman soldier how long the people would have to wait before they could return home. She said the exercise had begun at 15:40 and was due to end in 20 minutes. “So it’s time for it to be over.” She responded: “When you’re in the army you can do what you want.” She returned and somewhat apologetically said the exercise would end at 16:30. She claimed that the people had received an announcement from the local authorities that the checkpoint would be closed. Evidently, they had not. At 16:30 people were asked to clear the road. The military vehicles left and the crossing began. We found a crate of small squashes next to the road. Our friend K. explained that the owner of the crate was not permitted to take them across.
16:45 – Reihan Barta’a Checkpoint
We returned to Barta’a Checkpoint. There was space now in the Palestinian parking lot and we parked there and got out. The young coffee vendors were running around among the cars, pleased with the money they received from us. A few were attempting to earn money selling cans and bottles of soft drinks and bags of peanuts next to the exit from the “corral.” They told us that the managers the checkpoint were preventing them from selling their stuff. We bought some peanuts from them and left at 17:05. It was already dark.