Eyal Crossing, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Qalqiliya, Thu 26.8.10, Afternoon

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Riva B., Yaffa W. (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.

 16:30  Sha’ar Efrayim crossing
People entered freely, with no delays and without showing IDs.  Most complaints were about the morning, particularly on Friday when inspection is more rigorous and the wait is longer.  People told us that what bothers them about waiting in the morning is the uncertainty. 

16:50  Eliyahu crossing
People cross freely, laborers automatically show their IDs and cross.  They appear exhausted from word and fasting.  While we were standing in the entrance after having gone through the revolving gate the shift manager approached us claiming we were photographing in a security area – though we had no cameras.  But he was polite and smiling, explained that the Eyal crossing treats the laborers patiently, and is much better than the Efrayim crossing.  It wasn’t clear exactly what he was referring to, but he emphasized that he follows instructions; he’s not the one who decides. 

17:25  The entrance to Qalqiliya
On our way to the Habla agricultural gate we saw a traffic jam of taxis on both sides of the entrance to Qalqilya.  We stopped and walked over to watc.  The soldiers had stretched spiky barriers across the road and inspected the cars entering the city.  People with Israeli IDs weren’t allowed to enter, and had to turn around and go back.  Some were waiting, and told us they live in Qalqilya but still weren’t allowed to enter since they have Israeli IDs.  We were told that there are thousands of people with Israeli IDs living in Qalqilya.  The soldiers refused to provide any information about what was happening.  Later we learned the story: that there’d been an alert involving an Israeli car heading for Qalqilya.  I have to admit that I was relieved to learn that there had been a reason for holding people up in the heat at the end of the Ramadan fast – that it wasn’t done for no reason. 

We didn’t make it to Habla because there had been a fatal car crash nearby and we were held up for a long time in a line of cars until the road had been reopened.