'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Tayba-Rummana, Thu 7.7.11, Morning

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Neta G., Shula B. (reporting and photographing)

Translator:  Charles K.

06:10  A’anin checkpoint

People, tractors and a donkey wait in the middle of the checkpoint to cross; the checkpoint is only open twice a week, on Monday and Thursday.  It’s an agricultural checkpoint and those going through are on their way to cultivate their lands in the seam zone, and elsewhere.  If you have a valid crossing permit you’re not asked your destination, and you must return through this crossing in the afternoon of the same day.  If you didn’t manage to reach the checkpoint in time (the computer knows everything), no explanation will be acceptable and you won’t get off.  So we see P., who crosses here regularly, arguing with the soldiers and finally returning in despair to the village.  Someone explains that he didn’t return to the village on Monday.  Now he’ll have to go to the DCO to get a new permit.

Two young girls, students at the American University in Jenin, cross to the seam zone, accompanied by their mother.  One speaks a little Hebrew.  “I learned from your television children’s programs,” she says, surprising us.  Their 16-year-old brother doesn’t have a permit for the seam zone, isn’t allowed to cross and goes back, as do a number of other youths and adults.

06:50  Shaked checkpoint

The soldiers open the checkpoint gatesinfo-icon exactly at seven.  They know exactly what they’re doing, and the Palestinians know their place exactly.  44 years, and the system keeps improving every day.  Since there aren’t any pupils these days, crossing in both directions goes quickly.  A moment with a little excitement:  three military vehicles arrive at the checkpoint from various directions, khaki uniforms come out, go in, talk, return to the vehicles and evaporate.

07:30  Reihan checkpoint

The occupation operates here smoothly, like clockwork.  Whoever arrives enters immediately.  The parking lot fills.  About ten trucks and pickups carrying produce wait calmly.

A Palestinian attorney, born on the West Bank, married an Israeli Arab woman and moved to live with her in her village Ar’ara in 2001 (he received a permit for family reunification).  His ID card says he’s from western Barta’a, but he’s listed in the Jenin DCO as a resident of Ya’abed (on the West Bank).  He has an office in Jenin.  In the morning he goes out through the nearby Reihan checkpoint, and he must return through the distant Jalameh checkpoint in the evening.  From there he must take a taxi, which is expensive.  He isn’t able to solve this bureaucratic complication.

08:10   Tayibe Rummaneh checkpoint

Border Police soldiers at the checkpoint.  “Ahh, Watch?”  They’re not interested in talking with us.  The right to cross of a grandfather, father and grandson  is under investigation.  They let the grandfather through, but not the grandson.  The father returns with him to the village.  A gaunt old woman crosses by herself, walking slowly.  A farmer crosses on a tractor.  A tractor, driven by an Arab, drags chains back and forth to smooth the patrol track.  We give the elderly couple a ride up to Umm el-Fahm.  It’s hot; the road is long and winding through the town’s alleys.