Eyal Crossing, Sun 10.1.10, Morning
4:00 – We arrived and according to the Ecumenical Accompaniment Group there were over 1000 people waiting in line on the Palestinians side, already struggling and pushing for a place in the line.
4:07 – People started to exit from the Israeli side. We asked the first few people when they got to the CP and they said 1:30 or 2:00. They know that Sundays are crowded and want to avoid the crush. Other days they may arrive at 2:30AM or 3:00AM. There were 5 checking booths open. We were told that both x-ray machines for checking parcels were working.
4:30 Six checking booths were operating. People passing through told us the problem wasn't where we were standing but inside. Inside there are hundreds of people. According to the Ecumenical Group 1000 people had entered the terminal and we had counted that about 350 had exited. This means that there were 650 Palestinians still inside the terminal.
5:00 There is still a very long line outside on the Palestinian side. About 1500 people have entered from the Palestinian side.
5:21 A man who had left Bedia at 2:30, had arrived at the CP at 3:10, had entered the terminal at 4:38, was exiting from the Israeli side.
5:26 The Ecumenical Group reported that 800 were still on line outside.
5:50 A man who had entered the terminal at 5:21 exited from the Israeli side.
6:10 We are told by Ecumenical Group that about 400 people are still on line.
A guard from the terminal has come out to stop people from praying near the exit. He is well-mannered enough to wait till they finish to tell them or to prevent them before they start. As soon as he leaves, new comers stop to pray. Seven checking booths are open.
6:18 A man who left his home at 4:45, arrived at the CP at 5:00, entered the terminal at 5:41, is exiting from the Israeli side.
6:31 We are leaving. The Ecumenical Group tells us that 3,600 people have entered the terminal and that there are no longer any people on line outside.
It is so depressing to see how people have to get up in the middle of the night, wait at the checkpoints for an average of an hour before they enter the terminal; spend another 20 minutes to 40 minutes being checked in the terminal; find a ride to work which may be in Kefar Saba, or Tel Aviv, or Ashdod, or wherever; work in hard physical labor for hours and then make the long trek back. And these are the lucky people who have a permit and have a job.