Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)

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Edith Maor, Nitza Herzog

The checkpoint opened as usual at 4:00.

In the course of the morning we witnessed two problems: one man forgot his ID in the building and needed to go back to retrieve it, the other felt ill and decided to go home. In both cases the guards responded apathetically, and we felt that our intervention speeded up their resolution. But why aren't there procedures in place to take care of these kinds of events?

One man at the exit told us that there was a lot of trouble at the other side, and we should go there. At 5:15 we did so, and found going into the "black box" there was an enormous crowd, with a lot of unease and pressure, even though the checkpoint had been open for more than an hour. In spite of the pressure, we saw no young men climbing over the roof to get ahead of the line.

Another man who spoke to us asked (again) for the checkpoint to open earlier on Sundays.

The first people through the checkpoint got out in 5 - 7 minutes, later it took 15-20 minutes.