'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked
Checkpoints of the Northern West Bank: number of Palestinian prevented from entering Israel to work grows steadily
Anin Checkpoint 06:10-06:40
Opening time of the agricultural gate at Anin on Saturdays during the present olive harvest is 06:30. The soldiers arrive at 06:15 and the checkpoint is opened a bit early. At 06:23 the first arrivers already cross. The checkpoint structure is such that we cannot see those coming from Anin village until they exit and approach us. Apparently passage is swift but from the farther, lower gate we hear quarrelsome voices, probably those waiting in line on the West Bank side.
Toura-Shaked Checkpoint 6:50-7:20
We arrive the same time as the soldiers, who quickly open the checkpoint. Across the fence on the West Bank side a group of people is already waiting. By the time the soldiers get organized, the first Palestinian comes out, around 07:15. Checkpoint opening today is a bit late, and passage is swift. A few people complaint to us that on many other days the opening is delayed until 07:30 or even 07:45.
Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint 7:30-8:00
Here we arrive at the busiest crossing time at the checkpoint – the first wave is at its peak, but people are not yet crowding in the upper car park (seamline zone side), where their transport vehicles wait to take them to work inside the seamline zone and in Israel. From the terminal groups of people are seen emerging, and passage is apparently swift. We timed about 12 minutes per person from the moment they enter the terminal until they exit. The terminal shows 3 - and immediately following – 4 open checking posts, with long waiting lines. Two people approach us, who have a problem getting permits to enter Israel for work, and we hand them the magic note with Sylvia’s phone numbers. A third person tells us that he does manage to get across daily, but every morning he is badgered at the checking post – “wait five minutes… wait ten minutes… won’t be long now… we’re checking…” We had no answer to that.