Jalama, Sun 28.6.09, Morning

Ruthy T and Hannah H.

Translated by D. Kalekin

Jalameh CP
5.20 - The parking lot is full of Israeli vehicles waiting for workers. We were told that the CP opened at 5.05 and about 600 people were waiting for it to open. In the terminal there is a lot of noise and those coming out tell us that they were inspected by the machine and also put into the inspection rooms. We go down to observe the main entry gate to the terminal and we see 60 people waiting. People enter in groups of five to seven. There is another gate that we cannot see, but we are told that there, too, there is a big crowd. In the terminal two posts are in operation. About 250 people emerge from the terminal in an hour.

- We spoke with the women who work in agriculture and with their employers and all of them asked that the CP be opened earlier during the summer, so that their workday could begin before it gets very hot. This important request was made especially for the month of the Ramadan which is very near.We spoke with the women who work in the fields of Ein Harod and are employed by a contractor. The contractor does not provide them with water, and they leave the terminal and fill bottles of cold water at the cooler. They claim that they are not allowed to transport cold water in the terminal The story has an ironic addition, when they tell us that they are allowed to transport hot water.

6.00 - Two workers without any packages came to the CP at 4.00, and entered at 5.20. They were kept in the inspection rooms, were then inspected by the machine and have just come out, after two hours. The tempo of leaving is now faster. About 350 people go through in an hour. A woman who resides in Israel and works in the sewing workshop in Jalameh goes through to the West Bank at 6.00.

6.25 - There are now no people waiting at the outer gate. People keep arriving and immediately enter the terminal. Those going through who we observed were in the terminal between 30 and 40 minutes. Many of those going through take with them big sacks with agricultural products and other goods. A further delay in getting to work is caused by the fact that not every group of workers leaves the terminal together. Some groups have to wait for one person and the whole group is late to work. A group of workers who work in Haifa is still waiting for one of their members who has been delayed in the terminal for more than half an hour. At long last, he arrives, at 6.40.

- The rush hour is over; very few people are leaving the terminal and people report to us that there are only a few people inside the terminal. A few security people and some soldiers tried to send us away from the place. At the side gate a bus and a police car are waiting to take prisoners' families for a visit to the Ashkelon Prison. All those leaving complain especially about the return from there. In the afternoon, they claim, many Israelis come back from the West Bank and all the workers come back from the day's work. And despite the pressure, only one post and one turnstile are opened for operation, serving both those entering and those leaving. They ask that at least for the month of Ramadan there should be an improvement in the conditions and the time of passage should be shortened.

7.20 - A woman, whom we take to the Rambam Hospital arrives at the CP and comes out in ten minutes.