Reihan, Shaked, Mon 7.12.09, Morning

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Leah R., Anna N.S.

Translation: Bracha B.A.

It rained constantly throughout our visit to the checkpoint and while we were there.  It was the first real winter day that was very special and it was a pity we had to spend it where we did.

06:20 – A’anin Agricultural Checkpoint
An army “hummer” is parked in the middle of the checkpoint and there are several soldiers nearby.  The gate is locked with a chain.  We called the Liaison and Coordination Administration and we were told that today the checkpoint was not being opened because of the rain.  No, they had not told the residents.  They decided just now.  At the same time we heard the local residents shouting from the other side of the checkpoint calling our attention to the fact that they  were waiting there.  They hear but do not see.

claims that the people who own fields submitted requests together to renew their permits.  He also claims that several people are prevented from receiving permits to get to their land and were summoned to hearings at the Liaison and Coordination Administration before it can be decided whether to renew their permits.

06:50 Reihan Barta’a
The checkpoint opened on time.  The workers in the Shahak Industrial Zone and the seamstresses who work in Barta’a have already gone through.  Apparently only a few people came through because of the rain and others arrived during our shift and went through without delay.  Many people who work in the center of the country complain about difficulties getting to work.  If they leave through Jalameh in the north (just south of Afula) they encounter traffic jams in Wadi Ara and in the center of the country, and if they leave from Irtah (east of Kfar Saba) they must go through with thousands of other workers each morning and it is crowded and congested.  Their employers don’t always wait for them and often by the time they have finally gone through the checkpoint their ride to work has already left and they have lose the work day.  It’s no wonder that many leave home at 3:00 AM to get through the checkpoint by 7:00.  They ask to be allowed to go through Reihan to get to Israel in the morning, despite the fact that this checkpoint is usually meant for residents of the seamline zone.  Aadel, the commanded of the Liaison and Coordination Administration as |Salem, rejects these claims.

07:15 – Shaked Tura Checkpoint
Here, too, few people are crossing.  Only those who have to go such as students and schoolchildren are walking with umbrellas and boots and look cuter than ever.  Yesterday a resident of Kafin who arrived without a permit was arrested in Tura, the village adjacent to the checkpoint on the West Bank side.  We approached Aadel who gave us the details for the family.  We gave the family the phone number of the police station where he is being held.

07:40 – We left.  The rain continued.

Additional Note: Thursday, 11.12

Last night there was a three-hour meeting between Aadel and the head of the regional council of the area and the Irtibbat  - the Palestinian Liaison and Coordination Administration regarding agricultural permits.  None of the residents’ demands were fulfilled.  The following is a summary of the meeting:

1. Only owners of estates will receive permits and only for a half a year.  Even if they are elderly and are about to die, wives or children or other relatives cannot receive permits.

2. Because of this the number of permits being issues will be decreased to a minimum because “there is nothing to do in the olive groves at this time of year.”

3. Demands to receive permits to utilize the rains for planting will not be accepted.