Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)

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Zvia S, Idit B., Rachel A. (reporting)



Irtach Checkpoint at Dawn


04.07 When we arrived at the checkpoint, there were already a few people outside, meaning that it took between 5 and 7 minutes to pass through the checkpoint.

         At the entry gate (the rear one) it was quiet, packed with workers, and the turnstiles open for a long time.  Later, they started to regulate the flow by closing the outer turnstile from time to time.  At the side where the womens’ turnstile is situated, the gate was closed and a long line of men were waiting to climb through the slit.  See the video clip  ( note ; I didn’t succeed to copy the very good video clip from the Hebrew original).  At another place two youths had climbed onto the roof  and were busy  opening another gap (higher up) that would allow an additional “leakage” inward. 


         At the exit side , people were calmer relative to a Sunday.  However, the main complaint today was precisely about the openings which the Palestinians  themselves make in the fence and the ceiling netting in order to create an additional entry.  This endangers the people standing below, because , due to the crowding,  the only place that the climbers can jump down to is onto their heads.  The broken fence is therefore a source of injury to those passing near it.


         Today we were told that the problem is only outside (the checkpoint), and that inside, everything is alright.  Several laborers who live near Jenin, about an hour’s drive from the checkpoint, and who work in the Hadera area, told us that their journey is lengthened  (including a hefty payment for a taxi) compared to their going through Barta’ah, which is the natural crossing for those living in the North.  They define the passage through the checkpoint as an obstacle and daily hardship “which is tougher than a day’s work”