'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan

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Ruti Tuval, Elijah Levi (reporting) Chana Stein translating.

15.15. We popped over to check if at Harmish the olive-picking is continuing in the Palestinian lands that are enclosed WITHIN the settlement. The local person in charge of security said that the picking had ended, and added with pride that relations between Harmish folk and the Palestinians are fine, and the latter are even allowed to reach their land which is ‘protected’, every day. We made a quick tour of the deserted and neglected place and met smiling children.

Yabed-Dotan checkpoint is usually open to traffic, but we were surprised to find today a line of cars, which were checked for the 10 minutes we stood there. A little before we proceeded on our way, the soldiers, too, departed and traffic again began to flow.

16.00.  A’anin.  We arrived after the opening, but many were still waiting in front of the gate, waiting to return home.  The system still work according to ‘hamsa-hamsa’, i.e., people pass in batches of 5. Our friend Ibrahim, who was not allowed to pass at Barta’a, is delayed a while.  In the end he is also allowed to return home. As we were setting off on our way, he asked us with a smile, “Is this enough for you …and what? Won’t you come to us, don’t you have a permit?” In spite of the situation, this checkpoint is always quiet and the village people always approach us with such smiles that one can even forget the reality and simply enjoy meeting them.

16.40.  Barta’a – Reihan.  All the parking lots are crowded.  Two new sheds have been erected in the Palestinian parking lot. Of course they are not sufficient for the many people who pass here.  But the drinks seller who passed was “Mabsout ilhamdulla”. The sweets seller said that they sometimes banish him from there, although he has not opened a stall and does not even bring a chair, and manages his “business” from his private car.

We left shortly after 5 o’clock.  At the checkpoint movement was lively. The whole place was full of activity, everything proceeding as usual.