The northern checkpoints function in harmony with the breaches in the separation fence

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Neta Golan and Hannah Heller Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

15:10 – Aanin Agricultural Checkpoint

We arrived early.   Even M. and his son had not yet arrived on their tractor.  We entered the checkpoint area through the gat to the seamline zone that was always open so that we could make a U turn.  Hannah went to see the yellow pillars that block the gate to the checkpoint and the new dirt embankments nearby.   The wide break in the fence is still open and people conveniently use it to cross.  Evidently we were photographed by the security cameras if any are present, or we were seen by the soldiers in a passing vehicle.  After we had exited the checkpoint area we were stopped by a military vehicle vehicle with two male soldiers and one female soldier from the border patrol.  They claimed that we were not allowed to even approach the junction leading to the checkpoint, claiming that it is a “security road”.  We were also not allowed to give a package of used clothing to M., who had arrived at the checkpoint.  They claimed that they had spoken to the brigade commander and these were his orders, though we doubted it.  They did not know what Machsom Watch is, did not know what Area C is, and were not interested in knowing anything.  We argued with them and showed them our permits and after a half hour of fruitless arguing we left.  M. Assured us that the soldiers would arrive to open the checkpoint and that we shouldn’t worry.

15:50 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

The three soldiers from the border patrol followed us here and claimed that we were not allowed to enter here either.  When we stood our ground they finally agreed to look at our permits.  The one that convinced them was a letter from the public complaints officer of the central command that had been sent to Hannah Berg in December of 2013.  They supposedly read the letter to the brigade commander and gave us permission to be there “on condition that we do not enter the checkpoint.”

There was more vehicle and pedestrian traffic than usual.  Three friendly women who had returned from Jenin from Um Al Reihan were waiting for the vehicle in which they had arrived.  

We passed by Reihan Barta’a Checkpoint and stopped at F’  minimarket in Emricha where we bought ice cream cones for only 2 Shekels.  Evidently F’s business is not doing as well as we thought.  She had not turned on the air conditioner or the fan because electricity is expensive.

16:30 – Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint

The pillbox and the road leading to the checkpoint were manned.  Perhaps there was some tension after the activity that took place last night in Jenin in which six Palestinians were injured.  Perhaps this also had impact on the behavior of the soldiers from the border patrol whom we had met earlier.    Long lines of vehicles formed on both sides of the checkpoint.  One vehicle was detained and checked and after it was released the rest of the line was free to go as well.  Two soldiers approached us here as well, but they were truly concerned for our safety.

17:00 Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint

We sufficed with a quick look at the parking lots on the Palestinian side and on the seamline zone side.  Only a few workers were returning from work in Israel at this hour.  A group of women returned to the seamline zone on foot through the vehicle checkpoint, since the exit from the terminal is closed during the summer. 

17:10 – We returned via route 611.  There were a lot of taxis below the village of Kalkis that is next to a popular break in the fence.  There was a “taxi station” on the other side of the broken fence and many pedestrians were going back and forth.