Anin Checkpoint: It is not important to open on time

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Hannah Heller and Hagar Dror, Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

A’anin Checkpoint, 15:30

About 15 people were waiting next to the checkpoint and other workers continued to arrive.   Two soldiers who were stationed there 24/7 looked at the people and at us, but of course it is not their job to open the checkpoint.  M. told us that about 80 people crossed this morning.  He also reported that more people were receiving permits and that they are also being allowed to cross at Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint when A’anin  Agricultural Checkpoint is not open because “they want us to be able to earn a living.”

The checkpoint is supposed to open at about 16:00, but by 17:00 the soldiers who were supposed to open it had still not arrived.   We called the District Coordination and Liaison Office and were told that they had other matters to deal with.   The checkpoint finally opened at 17:40. On our way to the other checkpoint we noticed that there were more military vehicles than usual.

Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint

The checkpoint was filled with activity.  Hundreds of workers were walking down the covered sleeveinfo-icon from the upper parking lot to cross to the West Bank.  Waiters dressed in black and white uniforms were crossing to the seamline zone to work at weddings in Wadi Eron and Barta’a.   Two sisters with their husbands and six small children from Kafin attempted to cross  to attend a family wedding in Barta’a.    There was a mistake in one of the women’s ID numbers and she was not allowed to cross.   We attempted to ask one of the workers, who checked into the matter but after a short time the answer came that  she was still not permitted to cross.    Only one family crossed to attend the wedding.  The father reported that he had a son who is ill and uses a wheelchair.  He is permitted to bring his son into Israel for treatments, but when they cross the checkpoint the son is required to get out of the car and maneuver through the sleeve in his wheelchair.  Why is he not permitted to cross at the vehicle crossing?

Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

Workers were returning to the West Bank from work in Israel and the seamline zone.    Young people, students, and women who had been shopping were returning to the seamline zone from Jenin.   Cars were crossing in both directions.  One of the women who crossed was sitting at the entrance to the checkpoint.  She was a resident of Dahar Al Malek and tearfully told us that she and her son had returned from the West bank in her car.  She crosses the checkpoint every day so that her son can receive an injection, but today he was stopped (arrested?) at the checkpoint.   Meanwhile her husband came from the village and attempted to talk with the soldiers.   One of the soldiers explained that the young man had been detained for security reasons.  They knew he was sick and gave him water to drink, but they were waiting for an answer from the District Coordination and Liaison Office  and from the command post.

Note: Today I read in the papers that Israel is going to invest NIS 300 million to build a wall that will replace the security fence that will stretch from Salem to Bat Hefer – the area in which we observe the checkpoints.  This decision was made due to the recent terrorist attacks.  However, what we see happening – the repairs made to the fence, the increased number of work permits that have been issues are apparent and there are no more holes in the fence and no more illegal crossings.