Jalama, Thu 2.10.08, Afternoon

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Lea R., Neta J. (reporting)
Translation: Devorah K.
Last Day of 'Id el-fitr
17:30 - 18:15
This is not a real shift. We drove past thCP and decided to drop in. And this is not really a report. But we do not get to the Jalameh CP very often and that is why I thought that it is worthwhile to report.

The parking lot is fuller than we have ever seen it - full of cars belonging to Israeli Arabs going to visit their families in the Jenin district. Cars are parked in the lot, on traffic-islands and on the sides of the road that leads to the CP. Families in festive dress are leaving the terminal and little by little the cars begin to leave the parking lot.
An older man is waiting for a ride; he is a Palestinian, a resident of Jenin. He works as an olive-picker in the Beth She'an area. He has a permit to stay and spend the night in Israel during the olive-picking season. He's gone home to visit with his family for the holiday and now is returning to his place of work.

From the opening of the terminal we see that not all the families are leaving together; sometimes one or more are sent for an additional inspection. One woman, who is waiting with her children, tells Ts., the security officer of the CP, that she has been waiting for a woman relative who was sent to be inspected in a room, for over an hour. Ts. answers that an hour is really a long time and that her relative will probably come out very soon. Our impression was, and indeed people who went through told us, that the CP was well organized for the heavy holiday traffic. Ts. said that all the 'regular' leaves for the soldiers had been cancelled.

Ts. invited us to talk to the man in charge of the CP, S., and for a tour inside, on the bridge above the open space of the terminal.
The Jalameh CP is now open for longer periods of time: On Sundays through Thursdays, from 05:00 to 22:00, for Israeli Arabs to 20:00; on Friday, it is open until 17:00. On Saturday it is open only for Arab citizens of Israel. On an ordinary day, about 400 workers go through. Because of the holiday, only 50 workers and four buses with families of prisoners went through today. The CP is closed at night. Urgent humanitarian cases go through the CP at Reihan-Barta'a.
According to Ts. the Jalameh CP is defined as an encirling CP, because of the encirclementinfo-icon around Jenin. He says that the CP is not actually on the green line, but about 300 meters from it (inside the West Bank, 'of course').

With TS., we toured the CP on the bridge in the open space of the terminal. We saw four posts, for inspecting documents, in operation. There was no pressure near them. There was a queue - not too long - in front of the place where packages are inspected. People waited until the inspection of the packages of those in front of them was completed. We stood above one of the internal rooms but we could not see what was happening inside. Ts. said that people are put into rooms for additional inspection 'according to criteria' but he did not want to explain what those criteria are. A person who arouses some suspicion in the room is taken for an additional bodily inspection. According to Ts., the inspection in the internal room does not usually take longer than twenty minutes.
People told us that there will be people returning from the holiday visits on Friday and Saturday. This year the holiday fell near the weekend and the vacation was longer.