Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Sun 9.8.09, Morning
With the break of morning thousands of workers were pressed in at the turnstiles.
4.00 We arrived
4.30 The turnstiles were opened.
5.05 The passage was closed and by loudspeaker the workers were ordered to go back behind the turnstiles. But about 30 workers who had been amongst the first were stuck and unable to do so. When we asked why we were told that there was something inside.
5.10 Turnstiles were opened and at 5.12 closed again.
5.20 Opened again.
The from the loudspeaker, " Back to routine"
5.30 Not yet daybreak and already the search lights in the direction of the turnstiles and the workers were turned off. We were left in darkness. A man came back with something sweet to eat in a jar which he had not been allowed to take through. 5.30 Again no entry.
5.40 The turnstiles are opened. We cannot see the end of the line.
About 2000 workers still outside.
Ziona phoned the DCO in Tulkarm and reports that the workers are being delayed. The girl on the line said she would check. Afterwards we phoned Grisha who is the brigadier general and responsible for the terminal and he slammed the phone down.
5.58 The turnstiles were opened again. The workers shout and are worried as many of them will have to return to their villages as there will be no transport.
6.10 Again the turnstiles close and about 1000 people still wait. We phoned the army centre to ask that was happening and they said that they would check.
6.24 The turnstiles opened again.
At 7.00 there was no line.
It is important to report that most of the delays made the passage an hour longer than usual.
5000 workers pass through in total.
Returned. One person was returned because of the permit. One came back because his transport had left. One returned because his handprint had not been accepted. One returned because when he was in the x-ray room someone had taken his wallet with all his documents and permits.
7.00 We left.