Aanin Checkpoint: They finally let them go out to pick olives - but the olives are gone!

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Neta Golan, Shuli Bar (reporting)

7 – 8:30 a.m.

Throughout the October 2023 War, and after two months in which we had not been at the agricultural checkpoint Anin, we came here this morning at 7 a.m. but crossing began only at 7:30. Until then people were inspected (and detained) who had finally come to harvest the olives waiting for two months to be picked. Two groups went out, first containing a dozen people accompanied by one soldier. They walked on the road. The second group was twice as large, and sent to walk on the slope among the olive trees.

Not a single woman or child, as had been the custom on the happy harvest days, even under occupation restrictions. Tractors did not go out today for there is an obstacle at the checkpoint. How would the olive sacks get home in the afternoon? The atmosphere was strange, not at all like the former festive olive harvests, the happiness about the harvest which is anticipated all year.

The agricultural checkpoint Anin has been opened all these years twice a week until several months ago. As soon as the huge Separation Wall was completed, the crossing to and from the village was closed claiming that growing olive trees does not require work all year round. It would be opened in two seasons: the harvest, and clearing weeds.

It is no secret that many of the crossers here continued (mainly) to Umm Al Fahm (town inside Israel proper) to hunt work or visit family in Umm Reihan. Only a minority of the farmers used this to exit for farming purposes. But everyone was happy that at least twice a week they could go out wherever they did through the checkpoint near home.

Today there was increased army presence at the Checkpoint junction and on the road leading to it. Soldiers said this was to make sure that people crossing here would really remain around the olive trees. (Needless to say, as soon as they are swallowed inside the olive groves, they can move from one grove to the other, far from the eyes of soldiers, to where the army does not want them).


But there was not a single olive left to harvest on the trees. Even not on the ground!!

Is this theft? Last year colonists from the colony Ma’oz Tzvi (see report here) stole olives from a Palestinian grove in the area, after chasing the harvesters away and not letting them take even the sacks of olives already picked. Perhaps the thieves came from one of the Wadi Aara villages (inside Israel) nearby? Perhaps none of these answers are the right one…

The high and mighty Separation Wall was built at great expense in order to solve the problem of breaches in the Separation Fence which is deserted at present. Even the Fence itself had been built with millions of NIS to stop the penetration of Palestinian terrorists. Breaches were made to get over the meager transit permits provided Palestinians into the seam zone. However, since necessity is the mother of invention, the residents still continue to cross the wall at 11 checkpoints (crossed with one’s two legs…).

Some take the risk crossing over on a ladder (east of the wall) and a rope (west of it). Others make a pretty penny at their expense. Passage contractors get 100 NIS from every single person who hires their service, and on the other side a driver await them, getting another 150 NIS from the same person. It is much more than they get for a day’s work in the West Bank.

The permissive spirit and light hand on the trigger, inspired by the messianics and Ben Gvirs of the Occupation, several victims have already been killed by soldier fire on the wall.

We learned more from the Palestinians who know exactly what happened. They see on Instagram everything which our censors block on Israeli TV, both from ‘Black Saturday’ (October 7th) and from the ongoing killing of the many thousands of Gazans.

And still we realized that the locals were glad to see us today, and even the soldiers were nice…

Passage at Anin Checkpoint (gate no. 214) is supposed to last until Thursday. We shall go on monitoring it.