Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Wed 15.7.09, Morning

Observers: 
Smadar B., Michal B. (reporting); Translator: Charles K.
Jul-15-2009
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Morning

04:15  Very dark. All the workers are seated on the ground.

04:16  The tumult begins. The men rise and prepare to enter.

04:23  The women stand and get ready.

04:26  The turnstiles open.  The turnstile operates for a few seconds; there's a long line outside.

04:32  An innovation: The turnstiles remain open for a long time.  A large number of people go through one after another.  Now there's a long line from the turnstiles to the first inspection.

04:38  The line gets shorter.  Whoever arrives enters immediately.

We move to the other side, where people exit after inspection.

Many workers approach us.  They say hello.  They mention that inspections have been rapid for the past two days.  They say it's because of us, and ask that we continue to come.

They said that they also go through the rooms more quickly.  A worker we talked to said he doesn't have to go through the rooms because he's older (51).  Only younger men have to go in.  

05:12  We counted 160 workers exiting in five minutes.

A man named Fuad approached us - he's in charge of The Palestine Democratic Organization, and invited us to visit them in Tulkarm.  He repeated the invitation a number of times; he said they'll arrange an escort by the Palestinian police.  His phone number is 052 420 8491.

Another man asked whether he could obtain medical help for his sick daughter; we referred him to Micky Fisher.

05:30  We returned to the checkpoint entrance.  There's again a line.  When the turnstiles opened, 40 people went through in a few seconds, and they remain open - whoever arrives goes through immediately.

Today no one was turned back, nor were there any problems about bringing food in.

To summarize:  Noticeable improvement in the rate of inspections.  

05:45  No line at the entrance to the checkpoint.  We leave.