Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Thu 14.5.09, Morning

Zvia S. Rachel A. (reporting); Natanya translating

4.20 The back gate of the checkpoint. The usual sight. A crowd fill the vacuum at the entrance to the checkpoint and wait for it to open.

4.30 The checkpoint opens and closes to group of 30 people each time. The red is switched off and the red is switched off. Quiet. A run to the next gate. Quiet...and so on. We went to the other side.

4.38 The first people come through. And so on.

We waited a long time at the exit area and people thanked us that we came so early in the morning. All of them said one by one that our presence at the checkpoint makes the handling of it better and that when we are there the passage is quicker.


  • Women asked that there be a separate line for them.
  • That the gate should be opened at 4.00 am especially on Sundays when the pressure is greatest because everyone is exiting including those who have permits to sleep in Israel.
  • Why is the gate at Barta'a not open in the morning. There are people who come for the north and they are forced to make a big detour so as to get to that point in the morning.
  • The checkpoint at Deir Sharaf opens at 5am and the workers from the Nablus area get stuck there and come late to Irtah.
  • Why are they not allowed to take water through at the checkpoint.

For some reason the parking area for taxis and employers has been made smaller. Half of the parking lot is now for those who work at the checkpoint and stands empty at any rate at this hour of the day and the area for taxis and employers is full to bursting point. I asked the guard and he said come later and see how full it is. Interesting to know how the workers manage when those leaving are coming in at the end of the day. God has the solutions.

At 6.45 the entry was already empty and the passage was swift.