Northern checkpoints: The stranglehold continues – shorter hours, fewer permits

Roni S. and Hana H. (Reporting). Marcia L., translation   

15:05 – Agricultural Checkpoint, Anin

We arrived early and, until the checkpoint opened, spoke with those waiting. They told us that since opening hours were shortened (from 30 to 20 minutes), not everyone managed to arrive in time to pass through, and that “there is no one to turn to.” Likewise, they told that the authorities did not renew many permits, and, indeed, we met only 12 people, as well as two tractors, waiting to go back. One of the people told us about a member of his family, a resident of Anin, age 70, who is able to pass through with no permit (a privilege of his age). However, one day he left through Anin Checkpoint and returned early through the Barta’a checkpoint because he didn’t feel well. Since then they don’t let him go through Anin Checkpoint.

The soldiers are late, arriving at 15:20, and opening the checkpoint only at 15:25. People go through one by one. The checkpoint is closed at 15:35.

15:40 – Tura “Fabric of Life” Checkpoint

A row of green garbage bags decorate the road. The checkpoint is quiet. One woman, who comes from Jenin, passes through and waits for a vehicle to pick her up. On the West Bank side, cars are waiting. A worker returns from the seamline enclave and is swallowed up in the checkpoint. Next to the turnstile, at the entrance from the West Bank, people who do not enter the inspection room are crowded together. It appears that the checkpoint is not working. We asked one of the soldiers what was happening. He tells us that the inspection machine is broken and that “because a Jewish technician is coming to fix it, we cannot possibly endanger him. In the meantime, we are not allowing entry to the inspection room to anyone.”

We left at 16:00 and the checkpoint was still not functioning.

16:10 – Barta’a Checkpoint

We observe the routine of the checkpoint: Groups of construction workers arrive and go down into the sleeveinfo-icon (the enclosed passage to and from the checkpoint). The workers greet us with big smiles, individuals stop at the kiosk and buy cookies fresh from the oven. Everyone has already become accustomed to this terrible condition.