The northern checkpoints: the army perpetuates and cultivates the ignorance of the soldiers

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Neta Golan and Shuli Bar (reports)

We met soldiers who are convinced that "It’s all ours " (i.e., the entire occupied West Bank), that if we don't think that way then we are "In favor of the Palestinians (and against the soldiers)," who have no idea who and what the Green Line is, and more.

Who perpetuates the soldiers’ ignorance? What does it serve?


6:00 a.m. Barta’a Checkpoint – we enter the Palestinian car-park with the car, and from far away the usher calls out: You Gotta a permit to inter? We laugh…

Crossing from the West Bank to the Seam Zone flows unhampered at this time. People disembark from cabs or come by foot from one of the distant car parks, enter the transit shed and over to the terminal. No waiting lines. No traffic jams.  From there they go to work inside Israel. But not everyone. Two younger men approached us. One showed us an impeccable permit of transit and sojourn inside Israel, including night, and complained that he had been turned back. We could not understand: was he suddenly blacklisted? If and why did he not follow the instruction to go back and come in again at 8 a.m.? He said he came at 5 a.m., has work in Tel Aviv, and if he gets there so late, there is no point in even getting on his way. The checkpoint director’s message was that workers cross automatically in the first few hours, and whoever could not cross is asked to come back at

8 a.m. Only then can they check why he was stopped. The young man claimed this happens once in a while, and when he gets to the checkpoint the next time there is no problem. We were told that if he would return at 8 he would be told why he was stopped.


6:45 Tayibe-Roumana Checkpoint (gate 154) – we were late for the opening of the checkpoint, and the last ones to cross – a small group of women, girls and children – already crossed to the Seam Zone as we arrived. We went down to see the wall, the gate was opened, and the power of the wall hit us like a hammer. Two girl-soldiers, one of them a second lieutenant, were sent to us by the DCO to tell us that “You mustn’t be there!” We patiently explained that “We shall stand as we have all these years – as long as we wish.”

On our way we picked up a man who had trouble walking. He has had knee surgery. He said that today Anin villagers crossed at the Tayibe-Roumana Checkpoint as well, because the Anin checkpoint has been closed due to construction of the gate in the wall.


7:15 Anin Checkpoint (gate 214)

No crossing today. The wall is being constructed slowly, today the gate is being installed. Several workers and a few soldiers are there. Three came to see who we were. They, too, have never heard of us. We repeated the main facts of our history and agenda, and obviously their ears heard nothing…


7:30 Toura-Shaked Checkpoint (gate 300)

Most of the workers have already crossed. One of them said the gate was opened on time today, at 7. “The Border Policemen began working here not long ago, now they are alright. At first they were tough, but they got over it…” Two Border Policemen came to send us away. They have already heard that we were around. We refused to budge and a restrained but unpleasant discussion ensued about our right to stand there. The officer, hostile, claimed that no paper we show him would convince him. The policewoman, resident of Ma’ale Adumim colony, said “It’s all ours”.

We stayed for a while and then left.