Eyal Crossing, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)
Irtah, Eyal Habla. Tuesday 4.3.14, early morning
Observers: Tzvia S., Annalien, Rachel A. (reporting)
Guests: A cinema man and film producer from The Netherlands
04:00 -- We took two cars. Annalien joined the shift with the guests, who followed our car. The CP opened on time. Passage was heavy but moving. Because of the cameras more people approached us to tell of their problems.
We told them that we were about to meet the CP commanders, and asked what messages they wished us to convey. We heard details of their long hard daily routine, and the ridiculous wages paid at its end. Most of them are employed by a contractor who gets most of their wages, leaving them with a pitiful remainder. Their day begins at 02:30 when they leave home, returning at 17:30.
They have a lot of self-directed anger at their failure to organize the entry area, and their inability to control the pressure and the pushing. "This is not the enemy's fault", said one complainant. "It is our own problem".
Another said: "You're wasting your time, nothing will come of your talking".
Someone else said "When you're here, passage is smoother".
Many laborers waiting for their employers. We went around the CP on foot towards the laborers' entrance and got their unhampered, till a point where the loudspeaker announced that we in a closed military area and had to clear out. There is a new wing at the CP which will enable passage of more workers. It is not active yet.
06:15: We drove north for the filming. We saw the extensive construction in the village, which is steadily expanding. From our observation point one can see afar (but there was a haze).
The CP was open for workers wishing to enter the area of the seamline. Workers enter five at a time. Cars pass occasionally, as do donkeys and carts, and a bus of schoolgirls.
When Omar passes he invites us to coffee, and so we sit at his place with another nursery owner and hear of their water and electricity troubles, of the economic hardship in Qalqiliya, the deep unemployment and the lack of development. It is difficult to face Israel with all these problems, and more.
Around 09:00 we started on our way home.