Anin Checkpoint: Three hours late in opening

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Neta Golan - Report and Photographs Marcia L. - Translation


Shortened observation after Shuli’s car had a flat tire at the wrong time and place.  I went on the observation alone.

06:10 - Anin Checkpoint

The tractor driver, A., is already waiting in front of the locked gate.  The official opening during the olive harvest, according to the District Command, is 07:00, but, in practice, to the best of our knowledge, the opening hour fluctuates between 06:20 and 10:10.  After a quarter of an hour, the tractor driver M. and his son arrive.

06:50 - An army vehicle stops beside me and asks politely if I need help.  In answer to my question if he came to open the checkpoint, he says they are “not from here.”  A police car, a minibus, and another army vehicle pass; apparently, all of them “are not from here.”

07:10 - The District Command answers me, to my surprise, that they know there is a problem, and they will come to open the checkpoint. At 07:30, they hadn't come yet.  The District Command answers that they will check on it.  Three people pass on foot through the breach next to the fence.

07:45 - An army vehicle stops beside me.  Two female soldiers and two male soldiers don’t know at what hour the checkpoint gate should be opened. They are not from the sector, but they were summoned to open it.  They quickly take down one of the yellow pillars and open the gate (generally, that takes the soldiers a long time).  The tractor drivers pass through to their olives, and I leave.

08:00 - Next to the opening to Umm al Fahm from the direction of Mei Ami, army vehicles are parked with their rifle barrels facing the road.  Not a pleasant sight.


16:20 - M. phones to say that they have not yet opened the gate so they can return to the village.  According to the District Command, the opening hour is 16:00; however, in reality, the hour is very “flexible.” At the District Command, they say that they checked with the brigade and were told that a “force” was sent out.  It is not clear why they haven’t come.  They will check again.  At 17:00, the “force” is still “on its way.”  At 17:40 they still haven’t opened the gate, but the District Command says they reported that they did open (?).  At my request Shuli tries work her usual magic, she is also told that the gate was opened.  It doesn’t help that we say, to everyone responsible, that the farmers and tractors are still waiting in front of the locked gate.  The tendency is not to believe us.  Shuli’s additional phone calls were answered, but they also had incorrect information, to say the least.

19:15 - With an impressive delay of three and a quarter hours, the army opened the checkpoint and Palestinians passed through.  Not all's well that ends, well, that late.