'Anabta, Beit Iba, Huwwara, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Wed 9.12.09, Afternoon
Zeita Jamain - the road to the village is again blocked by earth and rubbish. Two weeks ago it was cleared for one day
There are 10 cars at the Tapuah Junction, most of which are taxis
Huwwara - there are 6 cars at the CP but the traffic flows. A truck is ordered to turn back and to pass at Awarta.
13 cars leave Nablus. Some are ordered to the side and are checked - the driver gets out, opens the baggage trunk, shows his ID cars and is released.
When one checks the cars which enter Nablus they are not ordered to the side (out of the queue) and thus, in a matter of seconds, a traffic jam of 6-8 cars is formed.
Beit Iba - the traffic flows
Anabta - there are soldiers and a queue of 13 cars at the entrance to Tulkarm. Three cars are detained at the entrance, after the CP.
It is impossible to see the length of the queue of cars leaving Tulkarm, but it seems there is quite a long one.
As can be expected, in spite of the car load, only 2 out of 5 lanes are open.
A lot of cars with yellow license plates enter Tulkarm.
15:10 There are 22 cars in the queue of cars entering Tulkarm.
Irtah -three buses full of women and children returning from prison visits are parked here. People run to the entrance, and are followed by the workmen returning from work. At the entrance there is a big load, people push and crowd near the turnstile, women, men and children, shouting and shoving. In spite of the pressure, the workmen try to let the women and children pass first. At intervals the turnstile halts for a few minutes, the queue becomes longer and more crowded, and then it is opened again, and again the large crowd squeezes through one turnstile.
The door to the entrance hall is closed and it is impossible to see how many checking posts are open. We are told that 4 our of 16 posts are open (!)
Women shout, trying to shield children at the passage. Alia estimates that the number of people in the queue is about 200.
We go to the guard, who claims that all the employees have gone home as it is late, and therefore there is nobody available to man the free posts. In any case, he says, not all the posts have the necessary equipment for letting people pass. When I asked how many posts out of the 16 could be activated he answered that this was top secret information and that if he told me he would have to "you know what".
Why do the employees at the CP go home at 15:30, just when the women with their children return from visiting at the prison? [and whey does the guard threaten that he "will handle me"???]
15:45 Only men remain in the queue, about 150. They push and shout, squeeze as many as possible at each round of the turnstile.
At the entrance hall there is a terrible crowd. Nadim says that the workmen are not checked, only those who return from visiting at the prison.
They stopped the turnstiles, and it seems that the checking in the whole has also been stopped. Quiet. Five minutes later the turnstile is reactivated. Inside the hall
15:55 More and more workmen arrive, there are more than 200 people in the queue.
On a rainy day more than three quarters of the workmen will get wet in the queue, as the awning installed to protect from the sun and from rain has been put up over the turnstile only, but not over the path on which people wait in the queue.