Aanin checkpoint: The fence guards do not have a key to the checkpoint

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Ruti Tuval (photography) and Netta Golan (reporting) Translation: Naomi Halsted

06:00 Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint, Seamline Zone side

There are masses of cars parked in the upper parking lot and on the roadside, waiting to drive people to their work. The workers are coming up the sleeveinfo-icon (the covered and fenced-in walkway) from the terminal to the parking lot. There are only three women among the scores of men. A handful of individuals who worked the night shift are coming down the sleeve towards the terminal. Like them, we’re also walking downwards, against the stream of people coming up. At the entrance to the terminal, we’re told that “it’s OK today.” One person complains he was refused by the police and we give him Sylvia’s information. Another tells us that he was seriously injured in a road traffic accident 20 years ago. He says that a lawyer from Umm el-Fahem took care of the matter, but he only got a small amount of the compensation due to him. We have no idea how we can help. On our way back, we see that business is booming for the settler from Hermesh who runs the kiosk and the garbage bins are full of empty bags from his tasty pastries. As far as we can see, cars are parked in the parking lots close to Zibda. The lot on the other side of the road is empty.

06:50 Anin checkpoint

The checkpoint is already open and dozens of people are striding along the road. They continue to pass through along with a few tractor drivers. Unfortunately, our acquaintance M., who lost his son four weeks ago, is not among them. His nephew tells us that he is still not able to go to work.

At 07:30 the checkpoint is closed. Everyone who has arrived by this time has been allowed through except for one woman who was sent back to Anin. We couldn’t understand why. A few people turn up at the locked gate. The two soldiers who are left to guard the fence don’t have the key. One of them makes a call. We don’t know to whom. Two cars with soldiers in them pass by but they don’t have the key either and they continue on their way. “Guarding the fence,” they tell those waiting to go back home, and they do. Somehow it all happens quietly.

07:30 Tura-Shaked checkpoint

A few children go through on their way to school in Tura. Women cross over to the Seamline Zone. A few men are crossing at this time. One of them complains that the soldiers have time – they talk on the phone instead of letting people through.

7:45: There’s not much traffic and we leave.