'Anin, Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 28.1.10, Morning

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Linda B, Neta G (reporting together)
Translated by L. Williams
06:05 Aanin Checkpoint

The gatesinfo-icon are open. The first woman crosses, followed by other individuals and one tractor. People stand by the middle gate and after a while start back to Aanin. One tells us that these are people whose agricultural permits have expired and they did not get new ones.
The checkpoint commander (a sergeant) tries politely to move us back behind the concrete barriers on the road. We refuse and try to explain to him the purpose of our presence at the checkpoint. After the sergeant leaves us, a woman soldier also tries, all of course "out of concern for our safety."

06:35 – the gates are locked.

The DCO representative leaves the checkpoint and we ask him why there are so few passing and so many turned away. According to him, 13 have crossed and about 60 were sent back for not having permits, for not being Aanin residents, or for holding permits for Reihan Checkpoint. According to him, four elderly men with lands in the Seam Zone held two-year permits which have expired. They submitted applications for renewal two weeks ago, and haven’t yet received new ones. He said that he would personally deal with their permits and would clarify how many agricultural permits there are in the season for Aanin residents. In the afternoon (by phone) he said there were about 80 agricultural permits as in every year, and repeated that there are permits for others – not only elderly owners of land. He doesn’t understand why so few are crossing.

06:50 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
Light traffic at this hour. Workers in East Bartaa arrive in small groups and go straight into the terminal. There is no traffic towards the West Bank. Only two pickups loaded with vegetables are waiting for inspection.
07:20 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
Few people and one car are waiting to enter the Seam Zone. Three men are waiting to enter the inspection hut on their way to the West Bank. Few people, but the passage is exceedingly slow.

We enter the checkpoint area and see a detained young man. A soldier comes over to us and before we ask about the detention he asks us whether we know Edna Canetti. The commander (a 1st sergeant) demands that we leave and says that the man is detained because of something on the computer, and adds (to our surprise) that this is despite the detainee being a resident of Tura and therefore has, like every Tura resident, a permit to enter the Seam Zone because they have relatives (?) There. We couldn’t wait for the release of the detainee because we had to go to Jalame to collect Aya, the toddler for dialysis. E from the DCO told me on the phone in the afternoon that the youngster was released ten minutes after we left. He confirmed, in response to my question, that not every Tura resident has permits for the Seam Zone, but only land owners, workers and other functionaries in the Seam Zone.

08:30 Jalame Checkpoint
Aya and her mother were already waiting.
Three buses were waiting for families of convicts going on prison visits at Shata and Gilboa Prison. Some of the visitors were already sitting in the buses. A Red Cross representative waited with them.