Eyal Crossing, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Thu 10.12.09, Morning
We arrived while the exodus os the workmen was at its peak. Many workmen are already waiting for transportation outside the CP. They gather around bonfires to warm themselves in the cold morning, or pass the long waiting time with conversations.
At the side of the entrance to the CP there are many workmen. They enter in large groups.
We parked in the employees parking lot and the guards informed us that this lot was for employees only. There was no signpost which testified to this, or any logical reason, so we stayed there. As they threatened to order a tow truck we remained in the area all along the shift and listened to the complaints of the workmen who were waiting for their transportation.
The new space where we were forced to stand proved to be more comfortable for conversation as most workmen who had passed the exit process and were waiting for transportation with time on their hands were concentrated there.
The main and best-known complaint is about the early hour at which they are forced to arrive at the CP; the long and inexplicable stay in the inspection rooms at the CP; the few posts that are open for the passage, especially when they come back in the afternoon; the lack of shelter from the rain while they stand outside; permits that are confiscated for no reason or because the magnet does not function; the prohibition to cary food and drinks or enough oil bottles - all the usual complaints. This strengthens the realization that our standing there, with all our good intentions, is meaningless for them, apart from the ability to vent their frustration and to see different faces.
Again we saw that since the last time we visited here more barbed wire has been added and higher fences put up. The large parking lot, three quarters of which is fenced in (and is designated for the employees who work here but who are not present, perhaps they will appear after the people who pass through the CP won't be here anymore, and what will they do then?), has been decorated with flower pots which mark borders. Most drivers who transport the workers prefer to park outside the defined area as the parking space in it is very limited.
The many fences make it impossible to see the forest. Workmen wait for transportation. The fence enlarges the "sterile" aread and does not enable one to see those who stand at the entrance to the CP from the direction of Kalkilya. A cart for vending coffee and cigarettes has a poster of the Committee for the Soldiers stuck to it, and it does business at this early hour. Another field was straightened out and made into a gravel surface for an unknown purpose. Another fence confiscates some territory.
We were not approached for anything.