Eyal Crossing, 'Anabta, Eliyahu Crossing, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Qalqiliya, Thu 2.7.09, Afternoon
15.30 Jubara,. The Te'enim Passage. A police car stands next to the police station. About 5 cars are on their way to Israel. IDs are checked. There is no delay.
15.45 Anabta. There are two army posts in each of which are two soldiers. At the back of one cars pass by and arrived from Tulkarm without stopping. The soldiers at the front post (southern) send the cars through to Tulkarm and stop only the Israeli cars with yellow license plates. They want to check that these are Israeli Palestinians. Jews may not pass. Now and again they ask where the passengers are going to. They say that they are already on duty for 20 hours but are sure that this will come right shortly. Cars wait in both directions.
16.15 Irtah At the trade terminal 10s of giant trucks unload their cargo which are taken to trucks on the Palestinian side. There are not many people leaving the terminal and they hurry through the two turnstiles to the passage which is shaded with plastic covers and this becomes a small market place at this time and for the many cars which wait in the parking load on the side of the dividing fence. A man tries to enter Israel to a ceremony of his boss in Netanya and has been waiting half and hour. Then it is decided to stop the traffic for some minutes and to let him through.
The parking lot is empty. Now and again a car arrives and workers alight and rush to the turnstile. Only one checking area is open. It takes about a minute before one sees them coming out.
16.40 There are cars with workers who rush to the gate. Even when there is a line of about 80 it shortens fairly quickly, Now and again the turnstile locks and opens again when the inside hall empties out. From the time that the workers arrive at the line at the locked turnstile until the time he comes out about five minute pass. The workers say they are still not allowed to bring through big bottles of water.
17.00 The man who wanted to enter Israel is not longer there. It seems he must have passed when we went round the building. Another man now stands there hoping to pass.
17.15 The gate to the area which reaches the dividing fence is closed but not locked. A new rail accompanies the pavement leading to the entrance to the building. When we get there we see a long line of people along the wall in the direction of the entrance. By they time we got out of the car there was no one there. In the parking lot are few cars. Now and again 10s of workers get out of cars which arrive and go through the building and come out within a few minutes. We try to enquire as to whether they feel there is a change now that the passage has become a civilian one. They say it is very hard in the morning. Others say it is OK. No one speaks of the problem with the water but all those that we asked say that they are not allowed to take out water in the morning not even small bottles. There were no lines and the workers continued to stream out.
We asked one of those responsible, Y. who had evidently ended his shift and asked why they could not take water through. He said that there is no limitation but a worker who passed said that it was forbidden to take water through. Y. said there was no limitation. We tried to pass this news on to all who passed.
18.00 We went through the Zofim road, past the obstacles which divided the Zofim gate. The soldiers lifted the checkpoint to each Israeli car. We did not see Palestinians maybe because they do not pass thee.
At Qalqiliya there were no lines and cars passed in both directions without stopping.
At the Eilyahu crossing were two lines of about 10 cars at the exit in the direction of Israel and little traffic in the other direction.