Eyal Crossing, 'Anabta, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Qalqiliya, Tue 14.7.09, Afternoon
Translation: Bracha B.A.
14:15 - Qalqilya
Traffic is moving freely to and from Qalqilya. A crane is lifting the concrete blocks that are on the road onto a truck. It is a pleasure to watch the checkpoint being dismantled.
Anabta – 14:55
The new checkpoint is now in full operation. Traffic is moving in both directions. Cars are not being stopped at the checkpoint. The checkpoint is not meant for pedestrians. If pedestrians arrive they have to hitch a ride and pass through the checkpoint in a car (according to the checkpoint commander). Suspicious cars are checked in a side lane in order not to block the flow of traffic. There were no lines throughout the time we were there.
The checkpoint was running “marvelously”. It is quiet, clean, and well taken care of. Soldiers are inside their air-conditioned booths, but there is something extremely unpleasant and threatening in this sterile atmosphere.
Traffic was flowing and we left at 15:10.
15:20 – Te’enim Gate
We waited about 15 minutes in two lines of cars with yellow license plates to be checked at the entry gates to Israel while the settlers bypass the line quickly. During the time we were waiting small children knocked on the windows begging or trying to sell trinkets. I am familiar with this from previous visits but the children have become more aggressive and remind me of children in India and other poverty–stricken countries. The soldiers say that they do not have permission to let us enter Jubara. We did not try to call and get permission since we wanted to manage to get to Eyal and Irtah.
Sha’ar Ephraim – Irtah 15:45
There is no line. People arrive and go directly inside, where there is a short line. One of the workers says that it’s pity we weren’t’ there yesterday because things were not running smoothly.
When we arrived there was a line of about 20 people. The workers complained that only one inspection window was open. After several minutes another one opened. “It’s only because you’re here…”
Other workers tell us that yesterday the entire lot was full of people standing outside in the sun and it was very hot.
16:00 – There are almost no people and we left for Eyal.
Eyal Crossing – 16:30
Someone in a van is parked in the lot, selling Passover cookies to workers. Lots of them are buying them(!?). Here too people are moving through quickly. There is no lineup and everyone is grateful to us for coming.
17:00 - We left.