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

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Tzafrira Zamir and Neta Golan. Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

Many people asked for the magic slips of paper with Sylvia's contact information.

14:15 – A'anin Checkpoint

Even before we reached the checkpoint, two people stopped us on the road leading to it.  One was banned from entering Israel by the Special Security Forces, and the other was an elderly man whose relative had received a ban as well.  We gave them Sylvia's team's information and wished them Ramadan Kareem.  The older man asked if we were fasting and then remembered that we fast only on Yom Kippur. 

We arrived at the checkpoint early.  The military police also arrived early, but did not open the checkpoint until the official opening time of 15:00.  Everyone’s certificates were checked, one by one.  Four tractors that were waiting with us crossed without any problems, despite their load of used furniture.  

15:25 – Tura Shaked Checkpoint

A few vehicles crossed in both directions.  Some women and children crossed to the seamline zone and waited under the rundown, shabby shed for their ride. A shiny car came and picked them up. 

15:50 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side    

The parking lot was not as full as usual, perhaps because of Ramadan.  The new shed is not yet in use and drivers were sitting beneath it.  Maybe that is what it was built for.  Despite the fast people appear to be relaxed and smiling and greeted us warmly.  Many people today asked for Sylvia's team's information.

On the way to the next checkpoint we saw two women walking on the road, who had just crossed at Barta'a.  We drove them to Emricha and they thanked us in Hebrew and Arabic. 

16:20 – Yaabed – Dotan Checkpoint

The checkpoint was unmanned and traffic was flowing freely in both directions except for the hindrance of the concrete blocks positioned on the road.  Men and women are picking tobacco on both sides of the road leading to the entrance to the settlement of Mevo Dotan.  Some of the small signs forbidding entrance to area A have fallen down. Perhaps this is symbolic. 

16:35 – The Vehicle Checkpoint at Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint

 The security guard asked to see our identity cards.  I gave her my driver's license and Tzafrira gave her an I.D. card.   She claimed she had never seen one like it before.  When she went to check the trunk of my car she put on a flak vest.  The car was OK, but what about the I.D. card?   She called another security guard and we were asked to stand aside on the red "X".  The guard apologized and another guard was called to explain to the woman guard that the I.D. card was valid.  After about 20 minutes the guard returned our documents.  Tzafrira's I.D. card is an old card, issued about 30 years ago.  The guard remarked that she no longer looked like the picture on the certificate, but added, "Today you still look OK."