'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Tayba-Rummana, Thu 7.4.11, Morning

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Netta G., Shula B. (reporting, photographing)

Translator:  Charles K.

06:05 – 07:00  A’anin checkpoint / Gate 214

About thirty men crossed from the village to the seam zone.  Some were held back because their permits had expired.  As far as we know, they were all sent back home.  Rafiq, a man about 50, phoned from the other side of the checkpoint and asked us to help him renew his crossing permit.  “For years I’ve gotten a permit with no problem.  Now they won’t give me one.  Day after day, they won’t say why.”  Abbas from the DCO promised on the phone to help, asked him to come to the Salem DCO.  And, in fact, eventually he got the permit.  A lame donkey entered the checkpoint area from the seam zone.  The Bedouin children said the donkey is from A’anin, and just before the checkpoint closed the soldiers agreed to chase it back toward A’anin.  A resident of A’anin says that herds of cattle from Ein Sahala (in Israel) are still damaging olive groves every day except Monday and Thursday, when the A’anin checkpoint is open for its residents.  “Before there was a checkpoint here,” he says, “they didn’t dare approach our olives.  When they did, we took their cows.”

Since they moved the clocks forward we benefit from a glorious sunrise a few minutes past 6 AM.  To really enjoy it we have to raise our eyes high above the fences, the jeeps, the Palestinian farmers, who are permitted by the Occupier to work their lands only twice a week.

07:10 – 17:30  Shaked checkpoint / Gate 300

About 15 people crowded at the revolving gate at the entrance to the inspection building on the eastern side of the checkpoint.  The small children get out of the vehicles transporting them, cross through the checkpoint on the way to schools in Tura.  They open their satchels for the soldiers, and today were also asked to put them on the ground.

07:35- 07:50  Reihan checkpoint

Almost no traffic at the checkpoint at this time.  The parked cars indicate their owners were among the groups who went through in the early morning.  Soon the retailers who work in Barta’a will arrive.  The checkpoints are so ugly.  Many yellow signs posted by the Occupiers with large numbers of rules and warnings and farewells and summations, like Have a safe trip, return safely…endless fences, gratings, asphalt everywhere, grotesque decorations (like a Barta’a-land park).

08:10-09:45  Tayibe Romana checkpoint / Gate 154

The checkpoint is supposed to be open between 08:00 and 08:30, but there’s no representative of the Occupation here.  Two tractors and about five men wait on the eastern side.  We called everyone:  the DCO (“wait a couple of minutes, I’ll check”),  Menashe Brigade headquarters (I’m not allowed to talk to you”, SLAM goes the receiver), Menashe Brigade commander’s office (“OK, I’ll look into it”), Abbas the DCO (“operating the checkpoint has been transferred from the Border Police to the brigade – but wait, we’ll be there in two minutes”).  The DCO guy arrived at 09:00, the soldiers at 09:45 OT (Occupation Time).