Eyal Crossing, 'Anabta, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Te'enim Crossing, Mon 15.6.09, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
15:40 It seems that construction has been completed. Two pillbox towers rise by the roadside. Next to the southernmost, which is also the taller of the two, is a booth which, according to what soldiers told us a few weeks ago, will be, to the best of their knowledge, a customs point. The checkpoint is still located south of them, near the junction.
Two soldiers inspect those entering, and two others those leaving. No line at the entrance, but there’s a very long line at the exit. Traffic moves, but very slowly. We can’t see the end of the line from where we’re standing, but one of the drivers who’s come through the checkpoint reports on a huge line of vehicles. When we left at 16:00 there was still a long line.
Te’anim crossing, Jab’ara
16:10 A line in the exit lane on the right (the one for “people without permits”), not very long. It seems that documents of vehicles in all the lanes are being inspected. The soldiers ask who we are, and for IDs. We show them the Machsom Watch tags. They call out, “Women against the occupation.” They haven’t heard of us. Yona explains to them that we usually go into the village. After a minute for clarification, a polite soldier opens the gate for us. We didn’t see any delays at checkpoint 753 (the children’s gate). Two children on bicycles go from Jab’ara toward the former A-Ras checkpoint which is open to traffic.
Dozens of laborers returning from their workday walk toward the entrance, crowding around the closed turnstile, crushed against one another. The entrance doors to the hall are wide open and we can see what’s happening. Five minutes later the turnstile opens for 5 minutes. Inside there’s only one window open for document inspection. Many laborers crowd in, much pushing and shouting. The turnstile turns and locks intermittently. Above people’s heads, in a sort of “gallery,” a security guard patrols with a gun.
16:50 An additional window opens and the pressure eases. A Palestinian comes out and tells us he waited two and a half hours, and no one came to open the turnstile. He phoned the DCO a number of times, and each time was told that someone would come and open. He said that it’s like that every day after 13:00, and it’s particularly difficult when there are people who have to get to the hospital at a certain time. We promised to find out who to contact.
A Palestinian returning from his day’s work stops next to us and thanks us. According to him, things go better when we’re there. He says that Wednesdays and Thursdays are particularly difficult, because, in addition to the workers, entire families return from visiting prisoners.
17:20 No lines at all at the entrance.