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

Tzafrira Zamir and Hannah Heller. Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

A’anin Agricultural Checkpoint

The soldiers arrived precisely at 06:15 and crossing began at 06:25.  People’s papers were checked in the area of the checkpoint under the shed.  People entered the checkpoint by threes.  19 people and 5 tractors crossed. 

The olive harvest will begin in October and there is concern that this year fewer people will receive permits to harvest their olive trees on the other side of the fence. 

Tura – Shaked Checkpoint – 06:45

The checkpoint was already open but only the mounds of garbage were present. There was a long line of cars on the other side waiting to cross and no one came through.  A car with passengers drove through to the seamline zone followed by the first two workers.  They told us that one of the passengers in the car was a Palestinian who was sick, returning from the hospital. The others had let him go through first, but the checkpoint commander detained him for some time and questioned him. 

06:50 -  People on foot and cars crossed quickly in the other direction, towards the West Bank.  By 07:30 45 people and 14 cars had crossed to the seamline zone.  One person, who had a permit to cross to the seamline zone but had been banned from entering Israel, told us that he was being detained at the checkpoint every day. Several pedestrians and a car crossed to the West Bank, including a resident of Um Reihan in the seamline zone, who teaches English at Bir Zayit University and travels to Ramallah each week.

Only one of the three seamstresses who work in the nearby Shahak Industrial Zone crossed at the checkpoint. Although they live in a village nearby, the other two now must cross at the Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint because their permits do not allow them to cross here. The seamstress told us that she was earning NIS 10 per hour (about $3.00), working five days a week. 

Today was the first day of the school year. Two children, from the lone house, owned a resident of Tura, which is located in an enclave between the checkpoint and the fence of the settlement of Shaked, arrived by the bypass road, got into a car, and rode to school in Um Reihan in the seamline zone.   

About 40 young school children from Dahar al Malek walked in an orderly line with an adult from the village. The children were dressed up and the girls had white ribbons in their hair.  The man accompanying them is there to make sure the children don’t have to enter the inspection booth. There's an attempt to organize a bus to take the children to school before winter begins, but they are encountering bureaucratic difficulties.  The older students also crossed without being checked.

Barta’a – Reihan Checkpoint – 07:40

Workers who had already crossed the checkpoint were still standing on the edge of the parking lot waiting for rides to work.  Only a few of them were still going to work in the settlements in the seamline zone or in Barta’a at this hour. Other people were coming back from the night shifts. People told us that there were still problems renewing work permits.