Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)

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Nura R., Hana Peres (reporting)


We arrived a little later than planned.

4:45 -

Some of the workers had already passed through the checkpoint and are outside. We went towards the fence where we can view the line of workers, and the line is long and crowded. A group of workers tries to push their way towards the front of the line, and to do so they climb over the barbed wire fence, and above heads of people. There is a line for this too, mostly young men who wait patiently to their turn to climb and get between the barbed wires in order to get quickly to the turnstile and the windows, and gain very dear (and expensive) time.

The flow of people into the checkpoint is very strong.

We were walking towards the exit of the checkoint. On our way we were stopped by a worker who wanted to tell us that this morning the checking was quick because 16 windows were openned. Others, on the other hand, were complaining about the pressure in the line, and the inhuman treatment, as well as about the fact that there are a lot of young men and people who push their way,  and there is nobody to complain to. It seems that they hope that we - the omnipotent - can improve the situation.

As we stood in front of the exit, we suddenly saw the turnstile stop. People who had already finished all the process were stuck inside, and within minutes there was a huge line. There was another complaint concerning the conditions in the place on Sundays and Fridays: on Sundays there are always more workers coming, but not more people checking them. On Friday they open the line at 05:00 and not at 04:00 as on every other day, and there is pressure to get to work on time.

We went back to the line of people coming in, and that was much shorter now. We met across the fence a Norwegian group, belonging to the organization "Norway Solidarity with Palestinians". They told us that they had been to Qalandiya, and also saw the movie about MachsomWatch "Kalandia". We had "partners' talk" with them.