Anin Checkpoint: Closing ahead of time
06:00 – A’anin Checkpoint
We arrived very early. We wandered around the checkpoint and watched a magnificent sunrise. Tractors were leaving the village, but only one came to the checkpoint. Someone was out on a morning walk. The large hole in the security fence, through which a jeep had driven, had been closed, but not completely. Anyone who wanted to could go through. There was a pile of garbage next to the concrete building where soldiers had been standing guard. It was undoubtedly IDF garbage.
The soldiers arrived at exactly 06:30, put on their helmets, and opened the gates. A vehicle from the District Coordination and Liaison Office arrived and continued on the security road. A father and his son were riding on the tractor and a mother and son crossed on foot to their olive grove in the valley below.
At 06:40 the soldiers left. We asked why they didn’t wait a little longer. One of the soldiers shouted: “Believe me, we were down below and there were no other people.” They left for Tibeh Romena Checkpoint.
06:50 – Tura Shaked Checkpoint
The soldiers were already there, talking to each other in Arabic. They were busy with maintenance work- putting a large turquoise garbage bag, like those on the side of the road - in the garbage can. A driver was patiently waiting for them next to the stoplight.
At 07:00 exactly people began to cross. There was a lot of traffic moving in both directions. Our acquaintance K. arrived, belt in hand, and declared that there was no COVID-19. Workers were hurrying towards a transport vehicle that was waiting for them.
07:25 Barta’a Checkpoint.
We drove past the checkpoint. There were many vehicles waiting in the upper parking lot, and the lower parking lot was full. We continued south. Soldiers were guarding in the pillbox near Emricha.
07:40 – Yaabed – Dotan Checkpoint
Soldiers from Givati Brigade were checking cars coming from the West Bank. They came up to us and declared that “We won’t give up because of the heat. The Left-wingers are the ones who bother us!” A military jeep stopped and a lieutenant in a mask was concerned about us: “People here throw stones at Israeli cars.” They explained that they were working in a capsule and asked us not to come near them. We had no intention of doing so.
On our way back we saw that the terraces near Um Reihan were covered in squills that were beginning to flower. The entrance to the parking lot on the seamline zone side was blocked by transport vehicles and taxis.
We decided to see the old Reihan Checkpoint, which is no longer in operation because we had seen a lot of transport vehicles on the road leading to the checkpoint. After we turned left near the junction we saw a military jeep parked across the road and a soldier would not let us continue. The transport vehicles passed the junction and continued on to a dirt road leading to the entrance to East Barta’a. The jeep drove towards the checkpoint and we followed it. We went up to the drivers, who were waiting for people freely crossing through a hole in the fence. A driver told us that a trip to nearby Barta’a cost NIS 5. “But you have to drive through the entire town of Barta’a through a traffic jam.” He explained that he had been making a sizeable amount of money.
Someone explained the phenomenon of gaps in the fence to us. “They take the pressure off people. From here they go to the beach and anywhere else.” When we returned the jeep was still blocking the entrance to the main road. We continued on along the rough road.