'Anin, Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 23.7.09, Afternoon
We drove Suheil and her daughter Aya from Rambam Hospital to Jalameh. There were many Israeli Arabs going through the border crossing in both direction, and many were families with small children. It is close to 40 degrees outside and a strong wind blows clouds of dust from the construction work nearby. Aya and her mother had already gone through when we arrived at the entrance, but about a dozen people were waiting inside the terminal. Despite the fact that the terminal has two sides to accommodate people coming in and out of the West Bank in both directions, only one side is being used and the one clerk who is working must process people going in both directions. One man complained angrily that his 55-year-old mother had been detained inside, and he had been waiting for her for an hour. She finally emerged, clutching one plastic bag – the reason she had been delayed in the terminal. Neta called and complained about the waiting line, and this resulted in them opening up the other side of the terminal making lanes in two directions. Since she also told them where we were standing, it also brought an armed guard, who came up and looked over my shoulder.
“I want to know what you are writing in your notebook!”
“Certainly. Long line at the entrance to the terminal, only one window open, people with small children waiting to go in both directions and being delayed…”
We left at 14:15.
The gate opened promptly at 3:00 and about 15 people and half a dozen tractors passed through by 15:25. Several teenage boys were with their fathers, probably helping them in the fields.
For the first time we see that there are two women from the military police checking cars and pedestrians. Several cars and taxis passed through the checkpoint in both directions, but one driver drove into the seamline zone, stopped, and complained that things were not going smoothly, he had been waiting for a half hour.
As we drive in we see seamstresses arriving and walking down to the sleeve. At the entrance there are already twenty people in line, and at 16:30 two windows were open and the line was moving. Unfortunately one window stopped operating, and the line soon began to grow longer. (See photos) The loudspeaker announces again and again: “Enter the checkpoint only if you have a permit.” Soon another announcement is made: “Hey, are you trying to play games with me?” It takes the man at the end of the line 12 minutes to reach the turnstile and get inside.
Neta calls S., who sharply offers Neta an explanation for the holdup in the terminal: “You refuse to understand. It’s because we let people who don’t have permits come through here.”
We left at 16:45.