The northern checkpoint: on whom does the separation wall close, on us or on them?
We were at the checkpoint at 6 a.m. Many workers came up from the terminal and they all searched, waited and found their transport vehicles. This picture teaches us that the passage from the lower carpark where hundreds and thousands of Palestinians from all over the West Bank arrive can work smoothly. There were no bottlenecks and no waiting lines, no crowding. No one approached us, here and there we exchanged good mornings and that was that… We were filled with the familiar feeling that we are transparent, equivalent to the reduction in the value of our work there.
Opposite the checkpoint in the direction of the West Bank there are now huge new car-parks that take up the whole landscape, straightening it as far as the eye can see. Whoever is not willing to pay 10 NIS per car, parks on the roadside and the dirt tracks and walks for hundreds of yards.
We hurried to get to the Agricultural checkpoint of Tayibe-Roumana (gate 154), located on the eastern slopes of Umm Al Fahm. It opens at 6:45 a.m. We faced a fortified concrete wall that radiates megalomaniac, ruthless occupation lust. The soldiers drag the metal gate with a crane (no electrical power?) beside which they and the Palestinians look like dwarfs… Who is the warden and who the prisoner here? The Palestinians waiting for the opening of the gate don’t know whether the soldiers will even get there. The monstrous wall stretching to the west and north is the solution to the breaches in the Separation Fence that had been so convenient for both Israel and the Palestinians. The wall is an unbelievable source of revenue for Ackerstein Co. that supplies the pre-fab concrete slabs making up the walls like Lego bricks. Who profits from the occupation… like the Bar-Lev fortification line along the Suez Canal so long ago.
2 tractors and about 15 pedestrians crossed. A pair of soldiers approached us to find out who we were, and admitted that they had never heard of us.
At the Agricultural checkpoint Anin (gate 214) the parts of the wall have not yet been placed together and they now look stuck opposite the checkpoint, like a forgotten movie set. When the two sides of the wall (reaching from Umm Al Fahm and continuing to the Toura Checkpoint and then the Baq’a Checkpoint) we will no longer be able to view the village of Anin and the beloved landscape around it. The occupation hides the shame but does not make it disappear.
About 50 pedestrians and 2 tractors passed. Several women sat on the trailer of one of them and waved to us cheerfully.
At Toura-Shaked Checkpoint nothing worth noting went on. The Border Police have charge of it now, and we’ll see whether they will overcome the usual tardiness problem in opening the gate.