Northern Checkpoint, Anin: The Olive Harvest is at its Peak

Observers: 
Zafrira Zamir and Hannah Heller Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
31/10/2019
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Afternoon

 16.30 – 15.00
 

Tura – Shaked Checkpoint – 15:00

Pupils were returning home from school in Tura and women with children and shopping bags were returning home from Jenin to Um Reihan.  Vehicles were also crossing in both directions.  Two Palestinian women who were born in Tura and married Israeli citizens were returning from the West Bank after visiting families.  They have permits to cross at this checkpoint to visit since the regulations for family unification have been in place.

 

15:25 – Anin Checkpoint

 Men, women, and children with bags and buckets of olives were approaching the closed checkpoint.  An angry woman and young man approached us and reported that in the morning three people had forced their way through the checkpoint and crossed without permission.   One of them was caught but the two others got away.   The soldiers went down to their olive grove and arrested her 26-year-old son despite the fact that he has a permit.  They said he would return immediately but he has still not come back and they have not heard from him.

The soldiers arrived at the checkpoint at 15:50 but continued to sit in their car.  We utilized the waiting time to hear what the people had to say about the fact that the opening hours of the checkpoint in the morning and the afternoon are still not clear.   “It’s according to whatever the soldiers want at the time.”  One of the people showed us his permit which stated that despite the fact that he was once prohibited from crossing, he can now cross without a magnetic card, and consequently he is sometimes permitted to cross and sometimes not.    Another person told us that he tends an olive grove through an agreement with the owner.  Meanwhile the owner has died, and his status regarding the grove is not clear, so he did not receive a permit this year to cross at A’anin.  Instead he crosses at Barta’a, which is farther away, since he is 55 years old and allowed to cross there.

 

More and more people arrived and continued to wait.  Two civilian cars with soldiers and people from the District Coordination and Liaison Office arrived and drove around, until the soldiers finally got out of the car at 16:00.  They readied their weapons, opened the checkpoint, and the people and vehicles began to flow through without being checked.   About 100 people and three tractors crossed. 

The woman whose son was arrested approached the woman officer what to do.  She immediately made a phone call and told them to let the man go, since she knew him and knew that he has a permit.  We hope that he was released.

 

At 16:15 people were still arriving and returning to the village.