'Anin, Shaked, Tayba-Rummana, Thu 7.6.12, Morning

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Neta Golan, Shula Bar (reporting and photographing)


.Translator:  Charles K.


06:00  A’anin agricultural gate

About 30 people and some tractors wait in the middle of the checkpoint.  The first two people crossing approach us angrily.  Summer vacation has begun; they brought their children to spend the day with them.  But the soldiers refused and the children, aged 7 and 10, returned home disappointed.  At that moment Wahel, the district DCO representative at Salem, arrived, and explained to us the complicated arrangements:  there are two types (at least) of crossing permits for this checkpoint – one is an exit permit to the seam zone for employed persons, and the second for agricultural purposes.  Even though children under 16 cross with their parents, they’re not allowed to go through on the basis of an “employment” permit, because it’s good for the entire seam zone (which has no real border all the way to Tel Aviv and beyond).  Children may cross with their parents if the latter have an “agricultural” permit, which is valid only for the parents’ land in the seam zone (near the checkpoint).  Since the two men crossed with an “employment” permit, they weren’t allowed to take their children with them to work.


06:32  The gate closed in a tractor driver’s face.  We asked Wahel to intervene quickly because it seemed to us that the driver might have been punished for arriving late.  It turned out that he’d come only to ask about his crossing permit.  Wahel said the permit awaits him 

at Salem (“it’s been there for a while”); the Palestinian representatives just have to come and get it.


06:55  “Fabric of life” checkpoint at Shaked. 

The checkpoint becomes more sophisticated every day – fences, more fences, a canopy, inspection windows, a long fenced corridor and other control mechanisms, all this leading us to the unsubstantiated assumption that soon this will be privatized.  An increasing flow of people (and goats) to the seam zone, and of vehicles, primarily to the West Bank.  There are almost no children because school vacation started at the beginning of June.  A long, heartfelt, polite, unresolved discussion with a reservist, a supporter of Lieberman, ended when a soldier approached him; he left us and 

returned to his post.


08:00  Tayibe-Rumaneh agricultural crossing

Border Police soldiers (“We’re always glad to see you”) arrive exactly on time and open the checkpoint to the eight people who cross regularly and one more person.  The latter is asked to empty his backpack and shake each item of clothing:  3 pairs of pants, shirts, a shaving kit, hair gel.  His permit is valid for one day, but the contents of his backpack indicate he intends to stay longer.  The outcome:  he’ll leave the backpack east of the checkpoint, on the West Bank side, and he’ll cross west to the seam zone.  We drove him to one of the Palestinian villages; on the way we tried, unsuccessfully, to find out what the story was.  Then we told him who we are, but he apparently didn’t understand our Arabic