'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

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Tzafrira Zamir, Netta Golan (reporting) Translator: Louise Levi
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

14:50 Anin – A yellow bag and a pair of tiger spotted boots

We were a little early, and so were the soldiers who opened the gatesinfo-icon at the checkpoint the moment they arrived. Two tractors loaded with all kinds of junk passed through. Two pedestrians also passed without any problems. The next person "was given the opportunity" to learn a lesson from a female MP when he "dared" to approach the fence before she called him. Rudely, she told him to go back while letting another person pass through. One tractor remained. There were bags with second hand clothes, which we had given to the driver, in its wagon. Evidently, the female MP asked the tractor driver where the bags were from and he, unsuspectingly, pointed at us. Apparently, bags from Machsomwatch might be a danger to Anin, so she ordered him to return them to us. We tried to talk to her, but she refused. We did not call the DCO, since we always get the same answer, that this is just an agricultural gate. We knew from experience that we would not get any help. The driver turned to us asking if we wanted the bags back, and when we refused, he left them on the ground hoping for a better day. He returned to the checkpoint without our bags but with a yellow bag hanging on the tractor. The observant military policewoman spotted the suspicious object at once and did not allow him to bring it from the seam zone into the vilage of Anin. The man got upset (even Palestinians get upset sometimes, especially in the heat and during the fast of Ramadan), and threw his bag onto the barbed wire fence. The military policewoman  checked the wagon once again. She got very angry when she discovered a pair of tiger spotted boots, but the tractor driver would not give them up. The policewoman threatened to take his passage permit, but he insisted. The policewoman, her friend and the checkpoint commander made a call, inquired, conferred and in the end let the tractor driver pass through with the boots. They were even. The female MP, the female sergeant and the commander refused to talk to us claiming it was forbidden, that those were the instructions.


15:40 Tura - Shaked

As usual not much traffic.


16:00 Barta'a – Reihan (On the side of the seam Zone) – A surprising conversation

Maybe because of the Ramadan, maybe because of other reasons, less people than usual on a Thursday afternoon were returning from work to the West Bank. We wished them 'Ramadan Kareem' and they greeted us in return. Few people entered the seam zone.

16:40 When we returned to the parking one of the security guards from the company operating the checkpoint approached us. He told us that he sometimes reads the reports on the Machsomwatch site and that he admires our work, especially since we all volunteer. He believes something good is coming out of it. On our question, what good things, he answered that lately they have opened three check posts at the terminal. He told us that he changed his opinion when he became a civilian and a student. He understood that a democratic state has to protect everybody's rights and that the checkpoints violate the Palestinians' basic right of free movement. He also expressed his doubts. He told us that he had been a soldier in the border patrols in the Jerusalem envelop during his army service. He claimed that he had seen Palestinians throwing stones at women from Machsomwatch (??). He couldn't understand how the women kept helping those who harmed them.

We returned through Wadi Ara. There were police cars at every junction and very large numbers of policemen at the main entrance to Umm el-Fahem. Police on horses were waiting at the Megiddo junction. They were expecting a demonstration following the murder of the Palestinian adolescent in Jerusalem. According to the radio, only 200 people participated.