Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Mon 8.6.09, Morning

Ditsa Y., Hanna A Translator: Louise L


‘Why 4:30 today and not 4:00?’  This question is repeated by the workers who are in a hurry to be on time for work.  

4:17  We have arrived and are walking to the entrance where people are waiting to get in. It is still dark. People are crowded together waiting for the moment when the turnstiles start operating and they will be able to pass through the sleeves, enter the sealed security positions, undergo inspection and go on to the turnstile at the exit.

There are crowds of people all along the path. A group of women sitting on the ground close to the turnstile is trying to keep separated from the majority of men. Some women do not have the ‘privilege’ of finding a separate piece of ground, so they have to join the crowd waiting in line. Contrary to the people being imprisoned within the fences of the checkpoint (an allegory for the large prison called the ‘territories’, among other things) the cats at the checkpoint enjoy complete freedom

The gatesinfo-icon open and the crowds run to the sleeveinfo-icon to enter. We walk up to see when people start getting out and measure the time of the inspection.

  The first people having been checked ,men and women, come out and walk on to the parking area where cars are waiting to drive them to their workplaces all over the country. Later on people complain about how long it takes (45 minutes) to go through inspection.

At this hour 5-6 security positions (windows) are operating according to the people leaving the checkpoint.  

A man from Irtah tells us that he has been waiting since 1:00 because he does not want to crowd together with the women.  

A man from Jenin tells us that he leaves home at 2:00 in order to reach the checkpoint at 3:30. 

Many people complain about the fact that when they return from work at about 16:30-17:00 only one security position is operating and the line is very long. One of the workers asked for a roof above the path to protect them against the sun in the hot summer.

A young man asks me to add to my report that yesterday he was ordered into the inspection room where he was undressed and kept for 10 minutes until he was sent on his way. ‘Why?’ he asks. 

One of the women complains that she has not been identified by the biometric identification a number of times. 

Numbers at the checkpoint:

Each time 109-130 are let in. There is a 2-minute pause between the groups. At the exit we counted 19-22 people per minute.  

6:05  People keep on arriving and now they enter without having to wait. 

A man from Kafin asks for assistance. He has to arrange his permit to work his land in the seamline zone. According to him the Palestinian District Coordination Office is the cause of the delay.  

A group of people is waiting for the DCO to open to get their magnetic cards.  

6:30  We leave 


From home Ditsa continued handling the business of the opening hour at the checkpoint and involved Hanna Barag. Let’s hope that it will work out.