Northern Checkpoints: Are agricultural permits being systematically refused?

Zafrira z. Neta Golan reporting


14:50 – A’anin Agricultural Checkpoint

It was very hot, and difficult for those fasting during Ramadan.  Ten people  and one youth were waiting  in the shade of the olive trees and the shed for the checkpoint to open.  Two tractors loaded with scraps were waiting nearby.  A man told us that his son’s agricultural permit had been confiscated with the claim that he had been working in Baka al Gharbiyeh and not in the family’s fields.   The father had been sick at the time and his son, who also had an agricultural permit, had taken his place.   The father explained that his son had been told to go to the Salem District Coordination and Liaison Office after 30 days and his permit would be returned.  He went, but his permit was not returned.   Our friend M. told us that they had cancelled permits belonging to three other people.  He didn’t know why.  Two weeks ago two other people had their permits cancelled.

Soldiers from the military police arrived a few minutes before opening time and opened the checkpoint on time at 15:15.  People crossed quickly.

15:30 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

The gatesinfo-icon of the checkpoint were closed.  We forgot that because of the longer hours during the month of Ramadan there the checkpoint is closed between 10:00 and 15:15.  The opening hour arrived, but the soldiers did not.  14 people and three cars were waiting to cross to the West Bank and others were waiting to cross to the seamline zone.  People told us that the soldiers were often late. 

At 15:40 the soldiers arrived in a civilian vehicle and began to get organized.  At 15:50 things began to move.  A woman and boy crossed to the seamline zone and waited for a car to pick them up. 

16:10 – Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

The parking lot was completely full.  There were no Palestinian attendants.  Many people were coming back from work.  People asked us how we were.  It is easy for us because we are not fasting.  People are happy that the month of Ramadan will end next Tuesday and the festival of Eid al Fitr will begin.  Two people were praying under the shed.  At least there was shade.