Aanin checkpoint: returned home with the backing of the High Court (!)

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Neta Golan and Shuli Bar (reporting and photo)

Neta: Permits instead of breaches

Ever since the breaches in the northern separation fence were closed, transit permits are issued Palestinians in unusual numbers. The rate of those entering through the Barta’a Checkpoint to work in Israel is tremendous. Apparently, people arrive here even from faraway sties in the West Bank. This morning we arrived earlier than usual at the Palestinian entrance to the checkpoint, at 5:45 a.m. We found very long waiting lines stretching from the car-park to the shed leading to the terminal through the turnstiles. The shed was filled to bursting, and amazingly quiet the entire time.

While some were waiting there for the turnstile to open, dozens – perhaps hundreds – of Palestinian workers continued to arrive in taxis and private vehicles, joining the lines. Opening time is 4:30 a.m. and Palestinians are pleading for it to be half-an-hour earlier. They claim this would solve the great pressure of their morning entrance and ensure their arrival to work on time. Our friend Hagar is still busy trying to persuade the directors of the checkpoint and the Ma’am workers’ association.

At 6:00, about a quarter-of-an-hour since we arrived and half-an-hour since the checkpoint opened the waiting line dwindled and traffic flowed unhampered until we left.

During that time, we met our good friend, a construction contractor from a village in the Jenin district. We had black coffee he had brought from home and poured into small cups. We were glad to see him. He is an old acquaintance, from the time years ago when he volunteered to bring order to the morning entrance riots at the checkpoint. We never stopped being amazed at him.  He is a pleasant man, speaks Hebrew, has a BA degree in political science from the American University at Jenin. Under his influence, the waiting lines have been orderly and he was the last to cross over (!). A few years ago he fell victim to informants, perhaps to a competing Palestinian contractor, and Charlie – director of the checkpoint – confiscated his transit permit and ever since, to this day, he is blacklisted and cannot manage to lift this prevention. When we took leave, he gave us two bottles of olive oil from his own land, and two large, fresh flat breads with zaatar and cheese – a gesture of gratitude for our caring about him, as he said, and about Palestinians in general. Refusal was not an option…

Anin Checkpoint: We live until we die

We arrived at the Anin agricultural checkpoint shortly before 6:45 a.m., opening time. On the Palestinian side of the checkpoint waited over 100 people and two tractors. There was no sign of the gate keeping soldiers. DCO and Military Police vehicles arrived on time but the soldiers did not hurry to get out of them and open the gate. This morning only men crossed over, many of them young. Their point was to find work in the seam zone and perhaps in Umm Al Fahm as well. An older man from Anin summed this us with a loud insight: “We live until we die.”


Here crossing over is allowed by Supreme Court ruling!!

Everyone crossed over except for a single young man who was sent back home. We asked the soldiers what happened, and a Military Policewoman ruled: “He was late!”

“What do you mean, late? You are here and the gate is still open. Why shouldn’t he pass?” And the surreal answer we got was unprecedented: “Because according to the times set by the Supreme Court, he came late and therefore is not allowed through!!”

“The Supreme Court?”

“Yes. The Supreme Court”, the soldier repeated, and added in the notorious half-scholarly-half- hysterical tone of the Prime Minister’s wife: “I s r a e l ‘ s  S u p r e m e   C o u r t”.


You got it.