You never ask the occupier “why”. It’s not polite…
Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint 6 a.m.
Usually this is the most crowded hour at this checkpoint – the time of leaving the Occupied Palestinian Territory to go work in the ‘seamline zone’ and inside Israel proper. But today the place is closed!! . Passage has not yet begun, the Palestinians in the lower car park sit on the pavement, and wait for 7 o’clock, perhaps the powers-that-be will open the gates at 7 o’clock. Why 7? Why ask ??
Today is ‘Id Al Adha – Feast of Sacrifice- that begins with fasting. So obviously many would not go to work today.
‘Anin Checkpoint 6:30 a.m.
On the sides of the road leading to the checkpoint a small garbage dump has been growing: broken pieces of furniture, waste, plastic bags blowing in the wind and many garments strewn all over. These are the presents that we have been bringing and obviously people do not wish to possess. I feel that so far we have already passed on to Palestinians tons of rags. Personally I have a hard time with this sort of donation.
Two men approached us, one has not managed to renew his farmer’s transit permit. He is told that the olive grove and farming land of his family is too small to justify a permit for him as well, as his father has such a permit valid until January 2019. But the father is old and the son wishes to come in his stead. Why is he not allowed? Why ask?? He has been to the Salem DCO as well as to the Palestinian DCO. The same reason has been sounded: the family’s area inside the seamline zone is too small to justify another farming permit for the family. Says the pleasant-mannered man: “We have 12 dunams here, but at the initial registration we didn’t manage to produce the documents and prove the real size of our area.” That’s why.
Toura-Shaked Checkpoint 7 a.m.
The checkpoints is opened at this time, few people and few vehicles pass from the West Bank into the seamline zone. Teachers and schoolchildren are still on holiday and the feast leaves many at home.
Tayibe-Roumana Checkpoint 7:50 a.m.
The lock hanging on the chain that closes this gate opened smoothly this time. We wished to say something about this to the soldiers, but they are not interested in communicating with us. Across the fence only a single person waits for the checkpoint to open. At 8 a.m. this happens and he as well as a few others crossed over. Among them our usual passenger to Umm Al Fahm, an elderly man who has trouble walking, and knows a single Hebrew word: Shalom (‘peace’).