'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 16.6.08, Afternoon
14:30 - 18:45 14:30 Aanin Checkpoint
Children, youths and men are waiting, next to seven tractors, for the gate to open. The soldiers arrive a few minutes after 15:00. A smiling soldier greets the transients with “What’s Up?” and after 20 seconds “Have a good day.” Nevertheless there are occasional delays because of problems with the lists. The smiling soldier informs his partner “There was a mess here in the morning – remind me to give a lesson on these matters...” Afterwards he promises us that, from next Sunday, a shady roof will be installed for the benefit of people waiting, and they also intend to clean around the checkpoint and in Aanin itself “because the children play there in dirt.”
At 15:35 people are still arriving at the gate.
At 15:45 all the waiting people, and three tractors, are asked to move forward beyond the gate being closed behind them. After two minutes, someone arrives at the locked gate and we promise his comrades that the pleasant soldier will open the gate for him – not to worry. But it doesn’t help. The soldiers ignore our cries. At 16:00 precisely the inner gate is locked and the soldiers quickly drive away. The latecomer goes back the way he came.
16:15 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
In the Palestinian parking lot, many cars waiting for workers returning from their jobs. Three cars are being checked, all doors and engine compartments wide open.
At 16:35 we notice, from a distance, workers returning from the Seam Zone/Israel and calmly entering the upper sleeve to the terminal. They come out to the lower Palestinian lot within three to four minutes. The three cars are released from inspection at 16:40 and three more move in to the empty spaces. They come out after exactly 30 minutes.
In the parking lot, a tired worker “complains” that “there aren’t enough checkpoints – can’t you do something?” We laugh...
14:45 – a very young woman with a suitcase emerges from a taxi. She is a student of dentistry in Jenin, and is returning home to Kfar Kara for two weeks vacation till Summer semester. We are curious to see how long she will be in the terminal, so we go up and wait for her by the upper exit. At 17:15 an angry man comes out, claiming that he is late for his evening shift in Shaked because of the suitcase of some student which is being sent back and forwrds on the conveyor belt. At 17:30 the student’s father, a courteous plant owner, arrives and demands demonstratively to know what is going on. Meanwhile many workers are arriving from work, among them V. (hugs and kisses) and proudly shows us his permit. The line to the West Bank is not moving.
Perhaps 120 men waiting at the entrance to the terminal.
At 18:00 it evolves that a computer has crashed. We volunteer to notify the waiting people the reason for the delay. “Yes, yes, sure, the computer again...” After half an hour the workers begin to reach the lower lot. We leave.
At our request, the student’s father calls us at 18:45 to inform that his daughter has finally emerged (since 14:45).
18:45 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
We leapfrog to the checkpoint, just to see that it is open, though deserted. A young couple comes from the direction of the West Bank. She is pregnant. They travel with us to nearby Dahar el Malkh.