Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Sun 14.6.09, Morning
The checkpoint opens on time. One person tells us about a problem with the computer that was apparently solved to the satisfaction of the rest of the workers, who are leaving the terminal this morning smiling and pleased. “Walla, this morning everything is just fine,” says one. The women, dressed up and smiling as well, are not in a hurry: the cars that brought them are being checked anyway. Only one window is operating, but there is no backup. One woman who just came out tells us excitedly about her sister who is not being permitted to go through because of the palm reading device. We approach the female checkpoint staff member at the window. After a few minutes three men appear and we hear a shout from within the terminal, “Let her in. I approve.” The sister’s problem was solved this time, but an overall solution to this problem has to be demanded so that people will not have to go to Jalameh and lose precious work days.
At 6:00 there is little traffic in the exit sleeve towards the seamline zone. Vans with merchandise are being checked in the new inspection facility. There are no vans in the lower parking lot. An owner of a transit explains that those who are being checked are carrying merchandise from yesterday, and fresh merchandise will only arrive around 9:00. There is no one at the entrance gate to the terminal. A., the driver, brings three workers at 6:17 and another nine at 6:20 and they enter without remaining in the terminal. Cars leave the vehicle inspection facility after 20 minutes.
We arrived at the checkpoint earlier than usual and saw a heartbreaking scene – a donkey was entangled in the barbed wire fence and could not get out. Its legs were bleeding and it was frightened when we approached it. The soldiers arrived on foot at 6:50 and we called their attention to the donkey and asked for help. Their commander promised to help. At 6:55 two military vehicles passed us and they were also asked to help. At 7:00 when the gates opened the owner of the donkey– a resident of Dahar el Malak – arrived holding a rope. He had been looking for the donkey for four hours and was permitted to enter the inner side of the fence. The students are on summer vacation. Passage in both directions this morning takes place without any delays. The owner finally freed the donkey with a little help from the soldiers on this side of the fence and from the commander from the other side. The soldiers in the patrol car were also concerned and came back shortly after the donkey was set free.
08:00 Jalameh CheckpointWe pick up the little girl Aya and her mother and another man, a father who wanted to join his four-year-old son, who has undergone open heart surgery yesterday at Rambam Hospital.