Translator: Orna B
6:50 Elijah Passage
There is a free passage lane for settlers' vehicles, and a separate inspection lane for Palestinians.
Workers with permits - are imprisoned in a wire cage with no roof and it is drizzling. They are arguing in the queue. They have a list of the order of arrival and one of the workers is organising the queue.
Every day about 250 workers arrive here to grab a place in the queue at 4:30 am. The inspection is done in a room by two soldiers. It opens at 5:00 am. When we got there there were about 100 workers in the queue. We talked to them through the wire fence. They complained of the length of the inspection and said that at times they are sent back home because of being late.
When we got to the checkpoint the commander Itzik approached us and told us that if we took pictures he would confiscate our cameras, and if we caused delays to his work he could detain us for up to 6 hours. "Even a lieutenant general would not get you out of here." And then he added rapidly: "I do the job well". And indeed cars were going through at a good rhythm.
Cab drivers parking in the area told us that the hardest place to go through was Eyal Passage. On Sunday at 4 am about 5000 workers arrive there and the congestion and pressure create very difficult cases: one man suffocated and died, and another broke his ribs.
They continue with the project to enlarge the checkpoint area. There is a long queue of cars at the exit.
We saw a suspicious activity. From every cab they got out 3 youths, took their IDs , inspected them from head to toe and sent them to a military vehicle standing to one side with a civilian man inside it. A few minutes later they were set free, one by one.