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Yael Agmon (reporting); Translator: Charles K.

With participants in the Nahshon military preparatory program.


Tarqumiyya crossing.  We meet Anat Shafir and the Sderot branch of the Nachshon military preparatory program. 


04:44  No lines at the entrance to the cages or inside them.  Whoever arrives enters immediately.


I wait for Anat and the participants and meanwhile I interview workers who have been turned back, each with his own story: one forgot his permit, the permits of others have expired and their employer must renew them, the brother of one person has been blacklisted by the police and an attorney has been dealing with it unsuccessfully for a year.  He knows Sylvia; I suggested he contact her again.


04:55  The revolving gatesinfo-icon close; a line starts forming.

04:58  The revolving gates open and remain open until I left at 06:00.


The participants in the preparatory program arrived, a short explanation in the bitter cold, and since the cages were empty Anat suggested they enter and talk with Palestinians, which they did; three or four groups of participants spoke with Palestinians.  From their calls to their comrades to join them, the experience apparently made a strong impression on them.


05:35  I take one of the participants who wants to understand “exactly what you do,” show him where we stand, the page on which I record what happens, and then a man returns through the revolving gate and we ask him why he was sent back.  He’s older, has worked in Israel for 29 years in moshav Sde Moshe, currently manages the farm because the owner had a stroke.  He says it’s the first time he’s not allowed to cross, shows us a paper which refers him to the Etzion DCL to meet with Captain Abu Nur.


If I’d worried at the start of the morning that the participants should have come on Sunday rather than Monday, this case and the impression it made on the young man – well, for few minutes he seemed to have been taken aback by the reality and the penny dropped loudly.

And, regarding the question of whether to meet with participants in the military preparatory program, even for a few minutes, I received the answer this morning and I myself am convinced that it’s worth continuing.