'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan, Thu 9.5.13, Morning

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Neta Golan, Shula Bar (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.


Two tales of evil and indifference.


06:05  A’anin checkpoint

Residents of A’anin came through the checkpoint at a steady but slow rate.  The soldiers behaved “correctly,” but carefully inspected every little, crumpled sack.  “They don’t let you cross if you have too much food,” says one, adding proudly:  “I’m an Arab; I like to eat a lot of bread!”  But a lot of bread is suspicious, festive clothing is evidence of hidden motives, and a cell phone charger in the pocket must be preparation for a terror attack.  You really have to see how the locals deal with the soldiers’ increasing vigilance, their growing mistrust.


Evil:  M. exits.  He doesn’t ask this time whether we’ve brought clothing for him.  Last week they made trouble for him when he returned in the afternoon to the village with bargains he’d found or bought for pennies in the seam zone, including clothing he said he’d received from Machsom Watch women.  Last Monday (May 6), his crossing permit was confiscated as punishment for his vain, repeated attempts to bring in a TV he’d bought for NIS 30 and sacks of clothes.  They took the permit and ordered him to go to the Salem DCO to obtain a new one.  The following day, Tuesday, M. went to the Salem DCO, waited fruitlessly in the corridor for five hours; then they said, “Now go home and come back Sunday to arrange for the permit.”  P., the Salem DCO officer, explained me that they did so to teach M. a lesson so that he’d think twice before trying to bring items through an agricultural crossing "that are not permitted there, in agricultural barrier".  Chana helped us to transmit an immediate, sharp verbal complaint to Civil Administration officials who intervened and ordered the DCO to return M.’s permit right away.  A day latter, Thursday, M. went and obtained the precious permit without delay.


06:40  Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint

We drive here on fine, broad roads built by the occupiers, and they’re completely empty.

15 commercial vehicles loaded with fruits and vegetables waited for inspection.  Laborers walked up through the fenced corridor and exited to the seam zone.


06:50  Dothan-Yabed checkpoint

The roadblock on the road through the olive grove to Yabed has been removed; pupils from Amrikha and the surrounding area walked to school.  The checkpoint is manned; cars go through in both directions with barely an inspection.  On the other hand, they picked an official Palestinian Authority pickup truck for a careful inspection.  A ragged, dirty Israeli flag flaps in the wind.


07:10  Tura-Shaked checkpoint

Where’s the money, asked Yair Lapid (Minister of Finance, not long ago quite naïve journalist), So here is part of the answer:  It’s spread around the ugly little Tura checkpoint that’s bursting with a dizzying abundance of lanes and passages arranged like a stockade.  They’re all completely unnecessary and the reason for them is obvious:  corruption.  On days that the soldiers forget to bring the keys to all the checkpoint’s locks and the computer isn’t working pedestrians and cars go through the checkpoint without any special inspection, crossing is quick and efficient and everyone’s happy – maybe even the soldiers.

A ragged Israeli flag flaps here as well.


Indifference:  S. lives in Tura.  He has five daughters and one son.  When the son was 12 ½ years old he threw rocks near the checkpoint, was jailed for two months and received a suspended sentence for a certain period which elapsed.  Twelve years passed, the boy is today a married man and he recently had a son who was named for the proud grandfather.  He’s been blacklisted by the Shabak since that time and isn’t able to cross to the seam zone.  Attempts to remove the Shabak’s black mark have been unsuccessful.  The separation fence cut the family’s lands in two; they’re located near the checkpoint, but on the wrong side.  S. is getting old and needs his only son’s help in the farm work.  But who cares.