Reihan, Shaked, Wed 21.7.10, Morning

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Vivian S., Francesca from England, Ruti T. (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.

7:50  Shaked-Tura

About eight people next to the revolving gate.  Y., the driver (who’s G.), waits next to the inner gate with a woman and child.  At 8:03 they get into the blue Transit and drive to the West Bank.  A young man who’s just crossed through explains that the checkpoint stands on his land and calls our attention to a long string crossing the tobacco field, reaching the olive trees to the left of the gate.  That’s a kite a boy from Tura lost yesterday.  Now one end is caught on the barbed wire and the kite itself is stuck in an olive tree.  Vivian climbs the tree, laden with fruit, and retrieves it.  A soldier lends us a lighter so we can separate the string from the barbed wire and the guest helps untie the knot and roll the string into a ball.  Since we weren’t able to find out who it belongs to – we finally decided to present the modest, handmade kite to our guest, who agreed to accept this symbolic souvenir of the shift.

At 8:47 we saw a car on the other side.  Six minutes later it came through and went on its way.  It took a laborer two minutes to cross to the West Bank.

09:00  Reihan-Barta’a

Our guest wasn’t allowed to cross to the Palestinian parking lot because she had no identification document.  So we split up:  Vivian drove to the Palestinian parking lot and the guest and I went to the terminal.  Some of those exiting told us about a girl with a permit to go to a clinic in the seam zone, whose father isn’t allowed to cross.  We hear the father’s voice:  “…I spoke to the officer, he said I could cross wherever I wished…I can go anywhere in Israel.  My daughter is sick, how can I get in?  I’ve been here two and a half hours.  What am I supposed to do now?”

A sergeant who apparently heard us calling approaches, accompanied by a security guard, and tells the father:  “That’s not what it says on the permit.  You certainly can’t cross here.”  We found Sharon on the other side of the passageway:  “If is daughter is with him  I don’t believe he’s not allowed to cross.  We’ll let him cross on a humanitarian basis.  If his daughter is in Israel – let him cross through Jalameh.”  Meanwhile, in our presence, he receives new information by phone.  It turns out, he says, that the father’s permit says that it’s for the purpose of a meeting in Israel in connection with work.  “He tried to use that permit to cross with his daughter who’s on vacation from school.  He doesn’t have a permit to cross with children.  They won’t let him cross at Jalameh either.  If it was a humanitarian case – I’d let him through.  But he’s just trying to manipulate me.”

We saw this as one more little failing battle in the absurd struggle for existence.

An Israeli (we could tell by the license plate) on his way to the territories, asks Sharon to allow the pickup truck, also with an Israeli license plate, loaded with tools and two laborers, to follow him in.  “But he’s not to buy charcoal or stop on the way,” Sharon warns, and orders:  “Yoram, let him in.”  This time the little battle succeeded.  I wonder why.  A Palestinian on the other side wasn’t allowed to bring a rug into the seam zone.  I wonder why.