Habla Checkpoint (1393)

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Karin Lindner (reporting); Translator: Louise Levi

A short tour with three American couples and Nathan, their guide.

The guests arrived at the Oranit checkpoint at 16:30. After explanations about the seamline zone, the separation fence, the agricultural checkpoints and the settlements seeming to be part of Israel but actually forming an enclave in Palestinian territory, we stopped at Hani's house. As usual, the police arrived to check who we were and what we were doing. The guests easily understood the absurd situation in which the settlements and the barrier cut Palestinian villages such as Masha and Siniriya off from each other.

17:00  We reached the gate at Oranit on scheduled opening time.  A number of young people were already waiting while others kept coming, all in all about twenty people waiting patiently.  Only two persons had bikes, the others were walking.  An old woman answered angrily when I asked if there were any problems. Her son's permit to drive a vehicle hadn't been renewed, so they couldn't reach their 50 dunam plot any longer and couldn't work their land.

17:15  The military vehicle was late, but the soldiers were in no hurry to let the people cross. One soldier explained the reason for the delay; the day before they had started to open the most northern checkpoint (Abu Salman/Bet Amin 1447) three times a day. Since Oranit reopened a few months ago it had been closed.

I used the time until the gate was closed to talk to them about the many problems caused by the occupation. Among other things, I mentioned the extremely small quantities of water the Palestinians receive compared to the settlers. They told me that earlier, when they had been in Shilo, the settlers had explained that the Palestinians were lucky to live close to them, because then they can use the water and electricity from the settlements ….

When we reached the checkpoint at Hable the gate was already open.  People and trucks were crossing in both directions. We kept driving to an observation point above the enclave of Alfei Menashe and then to make a short visit in Arab-a- Ramadin.

The gate at Oranit – After a day's work young people are returning home to Azzun Atma
Karin L.