Eyal Crossing, 'Anabta, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Mon 13.7.09, Afternoon

Observers: 
Bilha A, Ziona S., Translator; Charles K
13/07/2009
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Afternoon


Anabta.

15:40  A huge new red sign is placed about 30 meters in front of the checkpoint.  The wording is slightly more accurate than in the past.  “This road leads to Area A, which is part of the Palestinian Authority…”, followed by warnings about the danger of entering.  The soldiers approach and ask who we are, and upon hearing our answer ask, “How are you?” 

Two Israeli Arabs want to go through the checkpoint on foot, but the soldiers inform them that pedestrians aren’t able to enter here.  They insist, but the soldiers explain that it’s not up to them.  It’s an order they have to obey.  They suggest that they go to the junction and take a taxi, even if they have only a short way to go.  It should be noted that the soldiers talk to them in a straightforward way, with none of the superior attitude and lordliness we’re used to. 

Meanwhile traffic has come to a halt while they were arguing, and the line stretches beyond the junction.  The Israelis finally accept the suggestion and take a taxi. 

The soldiers return to the new positions, and act there mainly as traffic cops.  The only thing that delays the line are the spikes, but it quickly shortens. 

Irtach

16:40  People quickly get out of the vehicles bringing them to the turnstile.  A line of about 40-45 people forms in front of it.  Inside, one window is open.  About 35 people enter when the turnstile opens, but meanwhile more workers arrive, so that most of the time about 40 people are on line.  The problem is that they cram into the turnstile in order to go through before it closes, so it’s very crowded.  We asked some of the workers whether they still have a problem bringing food, and they say that there are no more problems.  But one of them, who speaks fluent Hebrew, reports three problems: 

  1. The nightmarish lines early in the morning, when people leave home at 3 or 4 in the morning, and often go through only at 7 or 8 AM.  And if it takes them another hour to get to their workplace, when they do arrive the boss no longer wants them.
  2. The humiliating treatment by the employees of the security company.  “They treat us like animalsinfo-icon, ‘get away from here,’ and other things.”  He says that the behavior of the soldiers was much better.
  3. What goes on at the DCO.  When they come to get special permits (not a magnetic card) there are soldiers sitting there who aren’t doing anything.  Nor does anyone bother informing them whether or not the office is open.  So they can wait 5 hours for nothing.
 

He says that many of the workers are afraid to say anything so they don’t get in trouble. 

Eyal checkpoint

17:20  Workers stream toward the checkpoint and are quickly swallowed up.