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

Nili (guest), Neta Golan (observer, photographer), J.H. (translation) 15:00 Anin Checkpoint

15:00 Anin Checkpoint
The checkpoint opened a bit early so by the time we arrive nearly everyone -- about thirty people – have already passed through. A young couple – a bride and groom – arrive in a decorated car along with the mother and sister of the bride. The bride is from Anin, her spouse from the Palestinian village of Umm Rihan which is located in the seamline zone, over the separation barrier but not within the West Bank. More of the bride’s relatives arrive in another decorated car driven by a woman from Umm al-Fahm (within Israel). They all cross to Anin. We wanted to take a picture of the young couple but didn’t when the groom asked us not to publicize the photo given that the bride is Muslim and accordingly only shows her pictures to family members.

15:20 Tura Shaked Checkpoint
It’s quiet and nearly empty when we arrive. The trash bin has been emptied, but the area is littered with old tires and garbage. In the shade sit three woman with many bags. We offer them a ride and they ask to be taken to the Bedouin encampment at the outskirts of the Anin checkpoint.

15:50  On the way to the Ya’abed checkpoint we pass by the Barta’a Reihan checkpoint. The parking lot is crowded, there’s a mess of cars leading to the checkpoint that’s only straighted out when one of the Palestinian ushers takes control. The parking lots on the hill opposite the checkpoint are full. The gate blocking the shortcut to Ya’abed is locked, as usual.

16:00 Ya’abed-Dotan Checkpoint
We observe traffic moving smoothly. In the window of the guard tower we see a soldier attempting to hang a flag. Above the concrete wall around the tower there’s a white fence almost the height of the tower. A red sign warms Israeli drivers against crossing into Area A.

When I try to photograph the installation a military jeep pulls up next to us and asks that we not idle there because it’s a “hot zone”.

16:20 Barta'a Riehan Checkpoint, Seamline Zone side
There’s a constant flow of people disembarking from the shuttle buses and moving through the terminal to the Palestinian side. The document examination machines aren’t working today, either. A few familiar seamstresses pass by us. Few pass into the seamline zone, most of them women. One of the checkpoint employees complains that they’ve been waiting on his brother’s work permit renewal for over a month, while a friend had his renewed within a week. Someone asks for our help having an order forbidding entry to Israel retracted, so that he can work in Israel. We give him a phone number to call. A construction worker who has a job in Harish complains that his employer won’t get insurance for him. We refer him to a helpline for workers.

17:00 We leave. Many people continue to arrive at the checkpoint on their way home.