Under the sky of the occupation at the Aanin checkpoint
Barta’a checkpoint 05:55 - Today is good
Already on our way down to the Palestinian parking lot, observing the pace of the workers exiting towards their transpot, we realized that today there is no congestion in the crossing like has been recently. Indeed the cigarette seller at the door of the shed confirmed: Today is good and added: It's been a few days.
The first wave of people passing through here arrives at dawn, half past three, hoping for the miraculous opening of the checkpoint at four. These are the workers who work far away in Israel (for example in Ramle, about a two-hour drive). But the miracle doesn't happen and by the opening time at 4:30 there are crowd and the line is not moving, creating nervousness about being late for work. The second and third waves arrive about an hour later, when the crossing is already more open. Again and again we are asked to advocate for a four am opening.
An older resident of A’anin sat on a concrete block next to the entrance to the transit shed. He identified himself as a building contractor in Pardes Chana. His workers have already passed through, so he isn’t too anxious. He passes through with an identity card that proves his age (57), which gives him the right to pass. As of now, he’s been refused passage, possibly because the transition only applies to work permit holders and he is a second tier priority. Will try again in a while.
From a distance we saw a Toyota vehicle with a flashing blue light down the hill on which the village of Zabde and several parking lots are perched. The vehicle is blocking the entrance to the parking lot. People said that one person was injured there in an accident and since then the drivers are asked to reach this parking lot only around and through Zabde. One of the Zabde lots is dazzling with its emptiness (the parking shortage in the area is huge), another lot is only partially full and across the street from there is another empty lot.
The residents of Zabde are angry that the drivers are sent to enter the parking lots through a narrow alley in the village. They cause riots in the morning and in the afternoon. They honk in the early hours of the morning and endager pedestrians and especially children in the afternoon, greatly disrupting local traffic.
They protested in front of the council but to no avail.
The mystery regarding the Zabde parking lots’ closing and opening to the public - is still not clear to us. Quite a few rumors are circulating and the truth may be hiding somewhere in between...
One of the inspectors of the parking lot adjacent to the checkpoint comes and blocks, with a rope, the passage to the many parking lots which are far south from the checkpoint, because "everything is already jammed."
On the way to the A’anin checkpoint, we met a young man who’s a longtime friend, who went through a traumatic experience the other day. Two days before, at ten o'clock at night, he drove some passengers in his car to Ramallah. As he was leaving the city, dozens of settlers stood on the road and threw stones at the passing cars. All the windows in his car were broken. The stone that hit the driver's side broke the window and hit his shoulder. Allah save us! If it had hit his head, we might not have met him again.
The violent militias of the Settlerorists operate without interference and away from the media.
A’anin agricultural checkpoint, 06:50
Sabah al Kheir, Sabah al Nur (light), Sabah al Ward (roses), Sabah al Kishta (butter), Sabah al ful (sweet pea)
Cool and pleasant, clouds cover a soft sunrise, and below them the occupation’s ugliness is exposed: barbed wire fences, temporary buildings, dirt and garbage from all sides. For close to half an hour, about 100 people and maybe more passed here from the village to the seam zone. Most of the passers-by are young and unknown to us. They hurried to get to the intersection further down the disrupted road, to the day laborer employers waiting for them there. The old passers-by greeted us with a good morning and with a bright face, and we surprised the young passers-by (who are not crazy about us, just like the soldiers...) with all the good morning expressions we know.
We waited until the last of the passers-by hoping to meet M., an old acquaintance from A’anin, who is mourning his son, an officer in the Palestinian police, who was killed a week ago in an encounter with drug dealers (so we are told) near Jenin, in the end he did not come.
Three of the fence guards (of the Naha”l this time), the soldiers stationed there 24/7, approached us lazily. Who are you, what are you? Some young Palestinians of their age dared (perhaps because of our presence...) to approach them and joke with them, but without success.
The harvest season is about to end.
Tura barrier 07:20 The absurdity of nothing
The checkpoint, which is usually characterized by little traffic, was even more desolate this morning. In its center stands a diligent traffic light that supervises in green and red no vehicles and zero pedestrians...absurd.