'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

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Rachel Weitzman, Hassidah Shafran

Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint.

We arrived at the checkpoint via Harish. Many apartment buildings there are not yet occupied. The town was originally intended for a religious population, but it has since been open to the general population. It seems this town is intended to provide a living for young Palestinians, who are not allowed to live there because it is Israel. The number of Palestinians who pass the checkpoint to build Harish has risen. The checkpoint has also developed, and now has trees and flowers, and a playground for the children passing with their parents. How lovely! And then the D.C.O. command changed, and since then we have not seen Palestinian builders returning home after work. It turns out that the number of those passing here to Harish has decreased very much. In the morning, workers pass through other checkpoints – farther from their homes and from Harish.

This time, instead of Ya'abed checkpoint, we drove south to the small checkpoint next to the Jewish settlement of Hermesh. People waved at us FROM a number of Palestinian cars going toward Tul-karm.

Tura-Shaked checkpoint

A garbage container, this time partially covered, keeps the customary filth. And now for something nice: several women passed to the seamline zone - a young woman hugging a babyinfo-icon in a blanket, another carrying a cake on a tray, and others dressed festively – going to the village near Daher el-Malek. We wished them mazal-tov (good luck).  For a while now, they have had electricity.

I remember a conversation on the balcony of one of the houses before electricity. The owner spoke of the difficulty of living without electricity and told us about his grownup sons, who could not build homes in the village, and so he bought plots in Tura or in Yabed, and thus ‘beat’ Israel – without realizing that this is what Israel wanted.

Farmers’ gate, A’anin

The farmers of A’anin can no longer make a living from farming, since most of their olive groves have been fenced off, and they can reach them only twice a week for short periods. Gradually they began to pass the checkpoint with tractors loaded with discards, broken plastic chairs, old mattresses, etc. Today their clothing was not checked (to see if it was suitable for farming work, or intended for something else). There was a time when it had been forbidden to transport junk, and if someone was decently dressed it had been assumed that he was not intending to work.

The soldiers arrived on time, checked permits, and it was over in 15 minutes.