Eyal Crossing, Sun 26.7.09, Morning

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Sarah K. Ditza I. (reporting); Natanya translating
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

4.03 Few people coming out of the turnstile.

4.10 A quicker stream of people. An elderly woman complains to us with the help of a translator that buttermilk that she had taken with her to drink at work had been confiscated.

4.20 In answer to our question we are told that only when the checking of all the eight has been completed is anyone allowed to go. A Palestinian tells us that he left his home in the Jordan valley at 1.40 so as to get to the checkpoint on time.

4.25 A man who came out of the checkpoint told us that he had been in the little room for 20 minutes. He called our attention to a man with a boy who were in the closed area. He said that the man had been going to take his sick son to a hospital in Israel, he had all the necessary documents but he is not allowed to go through. We tried to speak to the father through the fence but he did not see and went back the way he had come.

4.35 A group of traders who had been waiting in the year went in to the checking area.

4.40 The turnstile is stopped for a minute.  

4.45 The turnstile is stopped for 3 minutes. 40 people waiting for it to open.  During our shift the turnstiles stopped 15 more times. Each time for half a minute, 1-3 minutes and once for 7 minutes. At another one a man waiting to go into the turnstile was wounded on his cheek.

5.10 At the beginning of the shift people seem less tense and even now and again one saw a smile but now they come out annoyed and angry. One complains to us. It is not right. Why an hour from thee to here. He says that he waited in the crowded room for over half and hour and there is a confusion inside.

5.14 Abu Shadi reports that there is great pressure outside.

5.32 One of those coming out says, "This is not a passage. This is shit." He says that outside are many people and they are not being passed through to be checked.

5.35 People coming out of the turnstiles and getting to the end of the path which leads to the parking lot are turned back to the checking device. We do not know what happened to them.

5.35  2261 people have gone through. People turn to us complaining about the food which has been confiscated...oil, techina, pickled foods, labena and cooked meat  are not allowed through. We speak to one of the guards who had come to us to send me back after I had gone into the checking area about the food which is thrown away and he claims that 1000s of pages have been given out to the Palestinians telling them which foods are forbidden. A Palestinian speaking good Hebrew told us that they had received a paper forbidding electric goods to be taken through but nothing is said about food. Abu Shadi confirms this.

5.40 A man coming out says, "Why do they shit on us?" Another says that 8 checking posts are working but nothing moves. He waited half an hour in the hall. He says that they are treated like animals.

5.49 - 5.51 No people come through.

5.51  A few.

5.57 A stream of people comes out.

6.00 - 6.01 No one comes through.

6.25 - 6.26 After 3 minutes and about 50 people standing crowded next to the turnstile they come out.

6.30 Someone coming out says to us that if we want to help we should go inside.

6.32 -6.33 23 come out. One of them says that there are many workers in the waiting room.

6.45 A bitter Palestinian comes out. Said he had been put on the side for half an hour to wait with no reason given. He said that he had complained and that it was his right to know what was wrong with him Our support of course does not help. A worker turns to us and says that he has worked for a long time with his Jewish employer  who takes National Security from his salary. He knows that when Jewish workers left him they got compensation and the employer refuses to pay him. We told him to turn to the Kav Haoved.

7.07 A Palestinian comes out furious. We have done nothing wrong, we did not rape, we have done nothing,. Why is is so and he says to us, "They do not want us to work, they want to starve us." Others also come out complaining and some says it was better when the army was in charge.

7.10  We hear noise in the checking area,. An employer stands at the turnstile at the beginning of the checkpoint. He tells us that he is waiting for a worker who stole money. Now he finds him coming out and runs up and starts to hit him. The Palestinians try to divide them and one could see that they were very careful not to hit the Jew. They know very well what would happen to them then.  During the fight they moved off from us on the path and we could only hear someone saying to the Jew, "Why do you hit? You can speak to him or file a complaint."

Now there is a quicker stream of people.

7.30 The workers have not gone through. Abu Shade says 3600 people.

Shimon, the person responsible for the terminal arrives. He speaks to the morning shift which had arrived. We brought up the subject of the food. He claims that there is no limitation on personal food. Big tins of food can not be taken through  because of the long time it takes to check (?). He says there is no limitation on water. Thermoses can not be taken through. Two women come out of the checking area and say that their water had been confiscated, one themos and one bottle.

Summary. The stream of workers coming out changes from time to time and after 7.00 becomes stronger. The average waiting time is 1.10 - 1.20 minutes, Some waited 1.40  and another 45 minutes.  These details are taken from 40 notes which Abu Shadi marked the hour that the people came to the checkpoint.  At the beginning of our shift we met some who had not been checked and who had come through in 10 minutes.

7.50 We left.