Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Sun 16.8.09, Afternoon

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Yoheved G., Hannah H.

Translation: Bracha B.A.

Jalameh Checkpoint 14:30
The parking lot if filled with Israeli cars – evidence of the many Israeli visitors to Jenin.  There is a lot of commotion in the terminal.  Despite the fact that 16 windows were built only two are open and have to deal with Israelis going in both directions as well as workers coming back from work in Israel.  There are no written directions explaining which line people should stand in.  Only occasionally directions are given over the loudspeakers.  Apparently there is a lot of traffic because of the summer vacation and the approaching Ramadan, and neither people coming through the terminal nor the staff were prepared.  People enter the terminal immediately when they arrive, but are likely to remain inside for up to 50 minutes.  An Israeli woman who went through to Jenin in the morning was not being delayed for more than an hour.  The relatives who were with her and who already came out don’t know why.

Shaked – 15:30 
3 cars with children are returning from the West |Bank to the seamline zone.  They pass through quickly and the cars are quickly checked.  A car returning to the West Bank from the seamline zone also goes through immediately.  It is hot and quiet.

Reihan 15:55 
7 cars from the West Bank are waiting to enter the inspection facility.  Families with children are returning from Jenin and while they are waiting for their cars the children – believe it or not  - play on the slide in the playground.  They tell us that their cars have been checked for more than half an hour.  The six cars that were checked leave at 16:15 and the cars that were waiting enter immediately.Workers returning from work begin to descend the sleeveinfo-icon as well as several illegals carrying packages.  The illegals are detained next to the window, and at 16:10 they are taken aside, checked, and released from the terminal at 16:25.16:15 – The flow of workers returning from work increases.  IN the terminal only one window is open.  There are a lot of men and women workers standing next to the window and a security guard standing above shouts to them rudely to line up.

Outside there is a crowd of 30-50 next to the turnstile.  According to the signs there is one lane for people with permits for the seamline zone and another separate lane for people with work permits, but at the end of the two lanes there is only one turnstile and one entrance which also serves people coming in the other direction from Jenin.  Each time people come out who are returning from Jenin the passage of workers back to the West Bank is held up, and they have to push their way through dozens of workers who are waiting in a crowd at the entrance.  People are moving through quickly and every 5 minutes about 10 people enter the terminal and come out in the lower parking lot after 10 minutes, but why is it necessary to create confusion and crowding at the entrance?  Why do people coming back from Jenin with packages and children need to exit through the same turnstile?

Again the question arises of why there has not been any preparation for the summer vacation and the approaching holiday of Ramadan? Workers from Yaabed (in the West Bank) who come to work in Pardes Hana tell us that in the morning they enter Israel through the Irtah Checkpoint (Tibeh) and that on Sunday morning there are problems there but that things are better the rest of the week.17:00 – A car with passengers going from the seamline zone to the West Bank passes quickly through the vehicle checkpoint.  The passengers only have to use their magnetic cards to go through.