Tarqumiya, Tue 22.1.08, Morning

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Aviva W. (reporting), Ravid F.

We arrived at 5:00, and on the way we saw a few transits on the road. When we got there, many of the workers were on the other side, and looking for their vehicles.
As usual, they thanked us for coming out. Some of them took my cell no. I told them to call if there were any problems. They want us to come out every day. They said that when we aren't there they are always held up or harassed. Many complained that last Sunday a soldier took a person aside and beat him and that they were forced to stand in the rain for up to 45 minutes. They didn't have details.
The wait was up to 10 minutes from end of line to passing through. Two teachers who now work as tile layers, spoke to us in English, and asked if we were Israeli. I told them we were. One, just back from a two-year stay in Australia told us that he missed his family too much to stay there. The other one told us that he made a good living in Israel, but was always afraid of arriving too late to work. Many others complained of the big detour they have to do in order to get to Beit Shemesh. It takes them an hour and a half instead of 15 minutes because they aren't allowed to cross at a CP near Bethlehem.  
It was pouring rain and freezing cold, but no one complained about the weather.
Around 850 workers passed between 5 AM and 7 AM when we left.