Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Jubara (Kafriat), Thu 19.5.11, Afternoon

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Rachel Levy, Yehudit Levin (photographing and reporting)

 Translator Charles K.


For a change – at Irtah, the crossing from Israel to Palestine without any delays!

For the past two days workers enter Palestine directly – that is, they bypass the inspection building completely.  (We were forbidden to photograph).

13:55  Habla checkpoint – We arrived shortly before it closed.  Armed reservists with nothing to do guard the gate.  Two laborers who arrived on bicycles await their turn to enter the inspection rooms.

A horse gallops up, pulling a cart and driver – just before the gate closes.  He’s in luck.  He crossed.

14:10  Eliyahu crossing – A large military vehicle, soldiers alongside, and a police car stand in the checkpoint’s open area.

14:35  Falamya gate – The gate is open, soldiers beneath the canopy.  No workers crossed while we were there.

There are extensive road works along the roads between the quiet, dusty Palestinian villages – Jayyous, Khirbet Sir, Kufr Jamal, Kufr Zibad, Kufr Sir, A-Ras.  New approach roads are being paved.  That’s why signs in Arabic and English direct drivers to the detour (which we took).

15:00 Jubara – The “children’s gate” checkpoint has been upgraded with large buildings and gatesinfo-icon.  A paved security road passes right alongside; a few soldiers wearing yarmulkes and also female soldiers change shifts.

15:25  Irtach – We were surprised to see, for a change, that laborers returning home after their workday in Israel don’t have to go through the inspection building, and from the exit from Israel go directly to the revolving gates at the entrance to the West Bank – without being inspected!

We were told that it’s been like this for two days.

 But, meanwhile, there a new sign forbidding photography.  The civilian security staff demanded we meet with the manager of the facility.  He demanded we erase the photographs.  He said photography is prohibited for security reasons.

 On the other hand, we were able to tell him that on the other side – that is, at the revolving gates at the entrance to Israel – ten people have been waiting more than an hour to enter the facility for inspection.

He promised to look into it.