Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Thu 18.6.09, Morning
04:40 – A number of people are seen at the exit. Opening time is 04:30.
The turnstiles are closed for 10 minutes when we arrive. We ask the security man for the reason and he says there has been an "incident".
The system is that there is no system. Sometimes they open turnstiles for a short while ands about 40 people manage to pass, after which the turnstiles are closed and then opened again for short periods of time. When they open them again, they let about 120 people pass. Opened again, closed again for 5 – 10 minutes.
The line is orderly (compared to that of Eyal Passage). Three turnstiles have opened and the checks have been carried out in 8 stations. We get this information from the security man, confirmed by the workers.
We can see now the end of the line that couldn't be seen before. A slow streaming of workers continues.
Close to 06:00, the line is flowing. Once in a while the turnstiles are closed and are opened again when there are 30-40 people in the line.
At the exit people complain about the long and slow checks in the rooms. We have been approached with two complaints: A worker who has a permit valid until Aug. 11 was suddenly told he couldn't pass, no explanation given. He was very worried and asked us to find out the reason. We called the Humanitarian Center where they promised to inquire. Twenty minutes later we called again and were told that an inquiry at the DCO [District Coordination Office of the IDF Civil Administration that handles passage permits] pointed to security reasons. The young man was shocked. Nora tried to console him and promised to continue taking care of it.
Another case is about an accident at work. A man whose son fell from the second floor while he was working and was hospitalized in Hillel Yafe Hospital told the story. He said his son had no entry permit to Israel (because he was caught staying overnight without a permit). He was told by the Hospital to come for a check but he is not allowed to enter Israel. We turned to Micki with the details.