'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Hermesh, Tura-Shaked

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Ruti Tuval (report, photos) Guest: Ruth Sh., Translated by Tal H.

15:13 Agricultural Checkpoint ‘Anin
The front gate is wide open, its left wing lying on the ground. An elderly tractor driver, carrying easy chairs that have seen better days, and four farmers/workers wait to cross. Among them our acquaintance P. with his special ‘bangs’ hairdo. At his age he is allowed to cross over to Israel and work even without a special permit, and he doesn’t complain. He makes a respectable living, installs plumbing in new homes, not just a jack of all trades. His sons, however, who used to work with him, are now prevented from entering Israel, and he is distressed.

The military police vehicle arrives on time, at 15:15, but crossing begins only at 15:25. We wonder if the tractor driver will be allowed to cross with his cargo, for from our experience here, it’s not always allowed. And nor is it today! He is turned back and has to unload the heavy easy chairs with difficulty, leaving them thrown around inside the olive grove next to the checkpoint. We have a discussion three military policewomen who claim that they inquired by phone and did not get approval to pass the “furniture” through. My guest is shocked at the humiliation that this elderly man must undergo at the hands of these three women soldiers. She asks them where they were brought up, and they answer her roughly: “In Russia!”

15:50 Toura-Shaked Checkpoint

This checkpoint (a “fiber of life” checkpoint) is a festering wound inside a magnificent landscape. Today it is nearly lively. A family with small children is waiting for transport inside the filthy container. Cars pass through. Inside this army garbage dump lives a skinny cat to which we try to give water. On the way back we visit Umm Shadi at Khirbet Al Ra’adiya (who still has no electricity at home) and her lovely8 garden, exchange gifts and hugs.

16:30 Hermesh and Yaabad-Dotan Checkpoints

The two checkpoints are unmanned and traffic slaloms there among the concrete blocs unhampered. Between Umm Riha and the Yaabad checkpoint soldiers are stationed at three spots.

17:00 Barta’a – Reihan Checkpoint

On the roadside few cars remain, and even the car park on the Palestinian side is nearly empty already. We park there. Movement of vehicles bringing workers back is still seen, mainly of people working at the Hareesh (Israeli town under constructions), back to their homes in the West Bank.