'Anin, Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 23.6.08, Morning

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Anna NS, Neta G (reporting)

05:05 - 09:20

05:05 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint

Exactly at the hour we arrive, the security guards report for duty and the gate leading from the Palestinian parking lot to the terminal opens. People milling around the gate enter in fives, men and women alternating. S., 13 years old, is already making coffee and tea, in place of his brother Walid, who has found other employment.

05:13 – the first three come out. Today the machine is working!

Three private cars that were waiting when we arrived are called to inspection, which takes about half an hour. Six loaded pick ups are already waiting in the parking lot, even though inspection of produce only begins at 07:00.

05:20 – a man and three women, loaded down with suitcases, enter the terminal from the Seam Zone. After ten minutes they come out on the West Bank side on their way to Jordan.

05:45 – already no pedestrians waiting in the Palestinian lot or in the sleeveinfo-icon into the terminal. People arriving are swallowed immediately into the building. In the parking lot on the Seam Zone side, workers in Shahak are waiting for their transport.

06:10 Aanin Checkpoint

The gatesinfo-icon are open and the first tractor moves into the Seam Zone. We are told that 100 people, including children, are waiting. One of the transients says "everything is okay, but slow."

06:35 – soldiers descend to close the gate on the Aanin side. Scores of people are crowded in the area between gates, and one of them is trying to establish order among all the others.

07:10 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint

Sparse traffic. Six men waiting by the turnstile at the entrance to the inspection hut. One tells us that few are crossing because passes were confiscated from the others. One man asks that they open earlier and close later.

07:40 Back to Aanin

The gates are still open, the last people are passing. A youth who crossed earlier in the morning is asking to return. He speaks Hebrew, his haircut is stylish, calls the soldier "brother." He says that he learnt Hebrew in prison in Israel. Already at 14, he was imprisoned in Kishon Prison and Tsalmon. The soldiers consult with their commander, a second lieutenant, and the youth is allowed to return home to Aanin.

09:05 Jalame Checkpoint – Gilboa Crossing

We drove to Jalame to collect a sick girl and her father, who were going to Rambam Hospital.

Many cars with Israeli numberplates are parked near the checkpoint. The cars belong to Israeli Arabs who since recently have been permitted to pass through this checkpoint on Sundays to Thursdays, for visits in the West Bank. The transients sign a form and receive a number for crossing. 200 are allowed to cross each day, and they must return by 18:00 the same day. The people are happy that they can cross and are not compelled to travel to Taibe, as in the past. One of them lives in Mukbeile, close to the checkpoint. And his relatives live in Jalame, literally neighbours. Previously he was compelled to travel over half of Israel and half of the West Bank in order to visit them. People laugh: "It’s like travelling abroad, but without a passport." Passage of children up to age 18 is forbidden.

We collect the father and sick daughter. The father relates that he was compelled to enter an additional inspection room with the child because one of the security women was angry with him over an argument they had a week ago. He says that the soldiers displayed more consideration for him and his daughter than did the civilian security people who had replaced them.