Anin checkpoint: The soldiers leave before the end of the shift

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Neta Golan and Shuli Bar (wrote), translation Tal H.

Eastern Barta’a Junction – 6 a.m.

Today we saw considerably less activity that which has been witnessed here in recent months around the holes in the Separation Fence. We did not see buses, only vans that came to pick up workers for their jobs. Still, pedestrians may be less but they still hurry to the holes. Surprisingly, W. crossed Barta’a Checkpoint today. He is fed up with the games played by the soldiers. They would appear on the jeep next to the holes in the fence, stop people from crossing there, then disappear and people resume their crossing. And time and again the threat would appear and then disappear.

Is this top-to-bottom policy? Or the initiative of junior officers on the ground? What’s the sense?

Agricultural Checkpoint Anin (214) 6:30 a.m.

We arrived a bit early and took a ride down the steep slope in the olive tree grove next to the checkpoint, until our car got stuck on a small tock. Until M. came and freed us and our shame (Neta is not at fault here), the short minutes of checkpoint crossing were over. The checkpoint was supposed to be open for 15 minutes, but apparently the Military policemen do not wait until their shift is over. This is the complaint we keep hearing lately, that they let only those are at the very minute present at the checkpoint, and then lock up and leave.

We met several Anin villagers who were forced to cross the hole in the fence after calling after the soldiers to open the gate for them – in vain. Since their crossing was not registered, they feared returning through the checkpoints and came home through the same hole. We called two military sources and received the official opening times – but these are not consistent. The Palestinian DCO is not functioning and the Palestinians have no way of finding out opening times, and worse – there is no one to help them renew permits and the olive harvest season is around the corner.

Agricultural checkpoint Tayibe-Roumana (154) – 7 a.m.

This morning only Ali M. came to the checkpoint, driving his red tractor. When two of the soldiers came to open the gate, we tried to inquire why they did not let people cross at the Anin Checkpoint. One of the answered sourly: “You do your job and we’ll do ours…”