Eyal Crossing, 'Anabta, 'Azzun, Deir Sharaf, Eliyahu Crossing, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Jubara (Kafriat), Wed 9.9.09, Afternoon

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Mika S. and Aliyah S. (reporting)

14:45 Eliyahu Gate
The traffic was moving smoothly in both directions.
Azzoun: The main entrance is still blocked by a high mound on rocks and earth with huge concrete blocks on top.

15:10 Dir Sharraf::
The checkpoint is very quiet with a few cars going in either direction. We saw one soldier.

16:15 Eyal
The workers were going through quite smoothly. It took 3-4 minutes to pass through.

A large truck hauling a caravan passed us at Eyal in the direction of the oPt. We wondered where it was going.

Western Route, Wednesday, 9.09.09 pm, Anabta, Jubarra, Irtach

15:15 Anabta.
There was quite a bit of traffic going into Tul Karem, so a number of cars were always standing in line for a few minutes before they all went in. The people in the cars were very friendly, and one group invited us to come to Tul Karem as soon as there is peace.

15:35 Jubarra:
Not much traffic, but one car had been stopped and was being checked very thoroughly - the soldiers were going through all the bags and packages that were in the baggage compartment. We assumed that they were Israeli Palestinians going back to Israel after a big shopping trip in the oPt.

15:40 Irtach:
Inside the gate we could see that 2 booths were open and the checking was going quite fast with no crowding, even though there was a steady stream of workers returning all the time. The frame of a roof over the entrance to the checking booths had been built. One Palestinian worker commented that the roof should be extended for the entire walkway. There was more building material and roof tiles on the side. Two workers, Israelis, were getting ready to leave and stood around and talked to us for a few minutes. We all agreed that on both sides of the conflict there was not a strong leadership that could make peace, which we all need.

Next to the parking lot are two toilet booths that look quite normal. We didn't check them for cleanliness. And next to the toilets is a playground which we hadn't noticed before. There's a small chimbing apparatus, a slide, and a seesaw, for toddlers. Mika commented that it was a mockery.