Aanin checkpoint: the harvest was stopped for one day

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Hannah Heller and Hagar Dror Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

16.30 – 15.10

Barta’a Checkpoint 15:10 – The checkpoint was relatively quiet and only a few workers were returning from work in Israel and in the seamline zone.   It appeared that the activities at the checkpoint were routine despite the difficult incidents in Nablus and Jenin.  The parking lot beneath the village of Zibda, the Palestinian village opposite the checkpoint, was functioning again after parking had not been permitted for some time.  The seamstresses were returning to the West Bank carrying shopping bags.    Residents of Barta’a and the seamline zone were also returning from the West Bank carrying packages.  An Israeli bus arrived to take waiters to a wedding in one of the cities in Eron Valley.   At 15:30 many workers arrived and began to return to the West Bank.  There was a noticeable presence of police on the roads.

A’anin Agricultural Checkpoint – The olive harvest has begun and the checkpoint is therefore open every day.  Yesterday it was closed because of security incidents and the farmers returned home.   The checkpoint opened today at 06:30.   We arrived at 15:45.  Five tractors and about 100 people were waiting for the checkpoint to open.   Some sat in the shade under the olive trees and others sat on their tractors that were loaded with sacks of olives and junk, but most gathered near the entrance gate.  There were many women who had been working in the olive harvest.   The checkpoint also opened today at 11:00 because many people returned home in the middle of the workday because of the rain.

The checkpoint opened at 16:00.  A tractor and its passengers crossed.  An army bus and small truck arrived at that point with soldiers who attempted to cross to the seamline zone, but the gate was crowded with people who were waiting.  A large commotion and shouting soon began, evidence of the extreme tension.   

One of the workers collected all the pedestrians’ ID cards and stood at the entrance next to the soldiers who were in charge when the checkpoint opened.  He called people’s names one by one and crossing proceeded quickly and efficiently. 

By 16:15 everyone had crossed, but more tractors and people continued to arrive.  The checkpoint remained open until 16:30.

It is also possible to store olive oil next to the grocery store at Um A Reihan, a Palestinian village in the seamline zone.