Eyal, Wed 22.4.09, Morning

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Eti K., Micky F. (reporting) Translator: Louise L.

One more reasonable day - of course, only according to the criteria of the checkpoint at Eyal.

Talking to a Palestinian on the phone we find out that the checkpoint opened at 4:03. We arrive at 5:10.

We are standing near the cement block on the far side of the road. From here we can see the Palestinian workers waiting in line to enter the checkpoint. The line ends at the outskirts of Qalqiliya, but it is too far away for us to see.

We document the line of workers entering the checkpoint.  

5:10-5:16  No workers are passing. 

5:15-5:23  245 workers pass the turnstile to enter the checkpoint. 

5:23-5:26  No passage 

5:26-5:30  65 workers pass. 

5:30-5:37  No passage 

5:37-5:42  189 workers pass. 

5:42-5:44  No passage 

5:44-5:49  119 workers pass 

We stop to observe at what pace the workers exit from the checkpoint. 

5:55  17 workers exit in one minute 

5:57  20 workers exit in one minute 

We continue observing the workers entering through the turnstile. 

6:03-6:06  150 workers 

6:07-6:11  No passage 

6:11- 6:17  207 workers pass. 

6:18           An army jeep drives by and checks the passage at the fence. 

6:27-6:30  299 workers pass. 

6:39-6:44  No passage. 

6:44-6:48  146 workers pass. 

6:48-6:53  No passage 

6:54-6:58  136 workers pass. 

The line is finished at 6:58 - quite reasonable, but of course, everything is relative. If there were 8 computers instead of 4 the passage would be faster and it would make life easier for the Palestinians who have to work for about 8-10 hours. They would be able to sleep longer at night and to reach the checkpoint later in the morning - but here as well, the occupation ignores any demand that may improve the life of the Palestinians, be it the most reasonable one.  

While counting we receive a call from a Palestinian who reached the Eyal at 5:10. After having been checked he left the checkpoint at 6:10. We also observe one of the workers. He tokes his place in the line at 6:37 and enters the checkpoint at 6:48.

Eithan, Eti's husband who drives us, asks one of the workers about his salary. The worker shows him his paycheck. His gross salary is 350 NIS for a 10- hour workday, but the employer deducts 100 NIS for transportation, for the work permit (paid by the employer), etc. His total is 250 NIS a day. Transportation on the Palestinian side also costs him 40 NIS. To sum up, he earns 210 NIS for a 10-hour workday plus 4 hours on the roads and waiting at the checkpoints.