'Anin, Mevo Dotan (Imriha), Reihan, Shaked, Thu 3.3.11, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
14:50 A’anin checkpoint
Eight people, one youth, a donkey, a baby donkey and two tractors wait for the checkpoint to open. The soldiers are already on site. They open at 15:00 and in ten minute everyone goes through.
The soldiers check lists. It turns out that two people who crossed through here in the morning haven’t yet returned. At 15:15 they show up with a tractor and cross.
An elderly woman on a donkey arrives holding a bag in her hand. It contains cheese, which she wants to give to the tractor driver who’s just arrived. A female soldier tells her she’s allowed to bring in two kilograms of cheese; a soldier tries to find out. Meanwhile, another soldier inspects the bag on the ground. Permitted. The soldier hands the bag to the tractor driver. Yet another act in the checkpoints’ theatre of the absurd.
15:30 Shaked/Tura checkpoint
Very light traffic at this hour.
16:00 Dothan checkpoint
Continual light automobile traffic in both directions. A large yellow taxi coming from the direction of Jenin is chosen for inspection. Passengers get out and line up by the side of the road. IDs and bags are checked. The taxi is also inspected. Three soldiers approach us. They want to know who we are, about the organization, what we think. Very polite, two of them live in settlements. Their views are very different from ours, but they listen to what we have to say.
On our way to the Dothan checkpoint and back, we pass the locked gates on the bridge to Zabde. Cars are parked on both sides of the gates. Their passengers went to the Reihan checkpoint on foot or by taxi.
16:30 Reihan/Barta’a checkpoint
The seam zone entry to the terminal
Two open booths at the terminal and no line. Nor is there much delay in the other direction, from the West Bank to the seam zone. Eight detainees sit on the bench in the terminal. Five are released a few minutes later. One man says that when we arrive the crossing operates the way it should. It’s nice to hear, but the two booths were already open when we arrived.
16:55 There’s an announcement over the loudspeaker which we don’t understand and then the terminal doors and the revolving gates close. It turns out that a machine broke down (what machine?). A line of about 20 people immediately forms at the revolving gate.
17:00 The terminal opened and everyone entered.
17:15 Two female students wait at the far end of the fenced corridor, at the parking lot on the seam zone side. One is from the eastern half of Barta’a, waiting for her sister who’s car is being checked for a long time in the inspection area. The second, an Israeli citizen who lives in Umm el Fahm, is waiting for her sister to pick her up. She’s studying physiotherapy at the American University near Jenin and is doing an internship in Ramallah. We say goodbye and drive home.