'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

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Marina Banai and Ruthi Tuval (reporting). Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

We arrived three minutes before the soldiers changed shifts at A’anin Checkpoint.  The near gate was open. Two soldiers arrived at 15:00 for their 8-hour shift. One of them, a kibbutznik, told us that he had been giving lectures about the place where they were serving: about the seamline zone, where Jordanian law is still in effect, the Green Line, and the separation fence that separates farmers from A’anin and Tura from their fields.   They need permits to tend their fields, which are often signed by very young soldiers.

People were waiting for the military police to arrive and open the inner gatesinfo-icon. They arrived at exactly 15:15.  Meanwhile  we talked with three Palestinian men and one teenager.  They don’t believe that the coronavirus really exists and think that it is just an excuse to keep them at home for four months.  School will resume on September 6th but they don’t know yet whether it will be in classrooms or via Zoom.  The residents of A’anin are proud of 50 doctors who originate from the village. The children of the man we have spoken with are studying in Egypt. We asked about the garbage that has accumulated along the road to the checkpoint, and they claimed that residents of Um al Fahem are the ones who do the littering. They crossed on a tractor loaded with scrap and were permitted to bring it across.

We arrived at Tura – Shaked Checkpoint at 15:50.  For some reason, there were many soldiers at the entrance to the sleeveinfo-icon (through which people cross to and from the West Bank.)  Some got into a car and stopped next to us.  We asked for the hundredth time who was responsible for cleaning up around the checkpoint. A soldier approached us with violent gestures and his comrade declared through the car window: “The people who are littering here are those who are killing your children.”

We left and drove past the settlements to see what was being done there.  We saw a sign that read “Northern Samaria Authority.”  We looked but couldn’t locate them. We will try again next time.

16:30 – Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint

The seamline zone side was quiet but the Palestinian side was still crowded.  Someone explained to us that the Bedouin don’t get coronavirus because they drink goat's milk.  A young man who spoke fluent English wanted to know if we were tourists.  We showed him our website on ur phone and he was disappointed. “Ah, so you are Jewish.”  We shrugged as if to say: “What can we do?”