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

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Neta Golan, Shuli Bar (reporting), Translatio: Charles K.

Eid el Adha begins today so only few came to the checkpoint early this morning.


The Festival of the Sacrifice – Eid el Adha commemorates the biblical account of the sacrifice at which, according to Moslem tradition, Ishmael, not Isaac, was to have been the victim.  Ishmael considered his father’s dream of the sacrifice to be God’s commandment and asked him to fulfill it.  Abraham took his son and ascended Mt. Arafat, the Mountain of Mercy, near Mecca, and as in the Hebrew account the sacrifice was called off and instead a sheep was sacrificed to Israel’s god.  The festival’s principal ceremony is the Haj’, the pilgrimage to Mecca, which lasts one week.  The festival itself lasts four days during which people celebrate with their family, eat a great deal of lamb, buy new clothes, particularly for the children, donate money or meat to the poor, recite Koranic verses in cemeteries, etc.


06:00  Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint

Cars with Israeli plates are parked in the upper lot, probably belonging to Israeli Arabs who travelled yesterday to visit relatives on the West Bank and left their vehicles here.  Unlike the usual morning chaos at this checkpoint, this morning it’s quiet and deserted.  The checkpoint lanes are partially blocked; the security staff says it’s because crossing will begin at 10:00.  There’s a note on the sentry booth with the hours the checkpoint will open during the Jewish holidays.


06:25  A’anin checkpoint (214)

The soldiers arrived on time but no one else is here.  If they’d opened the checkpoint two hours later and allowed people to cross in both directions to visit relatives, many people would probably have come.  What could we have been thinking, expecting the occupier to be considerate and generous?

Two people come up from the Bedouin encampment below the checkpoint, a Bedouin who lives there and a resident of Umm el Fahm who’d come to drive him to the Barta’a checkpoint so he could cross and visit his family in A’anin.  It isn’t possible to cross through the A’anin checkpoint to the village in the morning; going in that direction is definitely prohibited.  In the morning it’s permitted only to leave the village.  Instead of a fifteen minute walk to his family, this man will make a very long detour and pay a lot of money to reach his family on the other side of this fence.  And meanwhile the soldiers stand idle at the checkpoint.


06:55  Tura-Shaked checkpoint (300)

We arrive at the same time as the soldiers.  Ten minutes later a woman comes through the checkpoint; she’d gone through inspection and is waiting for a vehicle to finish being inspected and they’ll continue together.  A vehicle arrives a few minutes later.  During the half hour we stood there only a few people crossed from the West Bank to the seam zone.  And only one in the opposite direction.  It’s not that there are no people who have to cross here.  There are no permits!!!!!


07:45  Tayibe-Rummaneh checkpoint (154)

We didn’t see anyone waiting on the eastern side of the fence, as we usually do.  A Border Police jeep arrived exactly at 08:00 but there’s no one to let through.  The Border Police personnel didn’t even get out to open the gatesinfo-icon.