Jubara (Kafriat), Wed 11.11.09, Afternoon
Sarah F., Aliyah S. reporting
Here too we watched for a short time from the car and saw that everything was moving smoothly.
There was only a short line going out to Israel.
We really thought that this was going to be a completely boring afternoon. But then we got to Irtach! It seems we came just at the right time to see a scene that really shocked us. As we came into the parking lot we saw workers running toward the entrance, but because the entrance is at the side of the building we didn't see the whole scene until we got out of the car and went toward the entrance. Hundreds, literally hundreds of people, workers as well as women and children were jammed together, everyone trying to get past the turnstile. As we made our way towards the entrance through the crowd we were stopped over and over again by people pleading with us to do something. I couldn"t understand the words, but the intent was perfectly clear. At the entrance Nadim spoke to a young woman standing just inside. She said that only 3 terminals were working. We couldn't see past the mass of people who were jammed inside, so we had no way of confirming what she said. At the turnstile an older man was physically holding the crowd of men back as he allowed women and children to go in through the turnstile; all the while the workers were shouting at him and at each other. The noise and the crowding was terrible; and men and women were still stopping me to complain and beg me to do something.
We made our way back to the parking lot; I ran towards the gate into the building. Two guards with guns pointing at me yelled, "Where are you going?!" I was yelling, "Who is in charge here?! I want to see who is in charge here! I demand to talk to the person in charge!" The guards blocked my way, but a young women in a blue uniform came out of the building and to the gate quickly. Sarah ran to me, worried that I would be stopped by the police. "Can you please not yell." the woman said to me quietly. I realized I had been shouting at the top of my voice till then. "Yes," I said quietly, "Who are you?" Quietly and politely she expained to me that she was in charge of that work shift. In answer to my questions she said that all seven terminals were working, and that it would take another half hour to check everyone. The problem is that 6 busses arrive every evening at the same time together with all the workers. We understood that the women and children were returning from visits to the prisons. The crowding it seems is the same every evening, but within half an hour it works itself out. We hoped that that was correct. There was nothing more that we could do. I thanked her for her calm and polite explanation.