'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked
14:55 – Anin Checkpoint
Two tractors, one loaded with scrap, and several workers preceded us next to the gate of the checkpoint. The workers were interested in the Purim holiday and ask about it. The gate of the checkpoint was open but still no one passed through. Two female soldiers from the military police waited for the other soldiers. At 15:10, they arrived and the passage began. They entered three by three and when more tried to enter, the female soldier aimed a gun at the people, and waved them back.
One of the workers told us that in the morning, the soldiers checked to see if he had money in his pockets. Another told us about a recent change: until now, permits were issued yearly for transporting merchandise at the Barta’a Checkpoint on every day of the year. Recently, the workers were notified that those permits would be canceled in April and only then it would be possible to receive new yearly permits. The workers are afraid of the expected long lines and red tape involved in receiving those permits.
Two tractors pass through and at 15:20, when we left, about 20 more people passed through.
15:30 – Tura Checkpoint
The checkpoint is quiet; two young boys and two cars pass through in a hurry, from the Seamline Zone to the West Bank.
15:45 – Barta’a Checkpoint
On the eve of Purim, a curfew was declared and the checkpoint opened only at 07:00.
The upper parking lot is almost empty; a few taxis from Barta’a are waiting for passengers. Families with children come up out of the terminal and enter the taxis. A taxi driver who was waiting for passengers, tells us in the meantime that police officers wander around the construction sites in Harish, checking whetherf each Palestinian construction worker has a permit to to work there.
Today, relatively few workers return at this hour to the West Bank from their workday.