Eyal Crossing, Sun 24.1.10, Morning
The CP opened on time and by 4:10 AM, when we arrived, people were already exiting. There were no unusual holdups . There was a steady flow of people leaving the terminal. According to my count, by 6:15am at least 2500 had gone through the terminal.
The problem, as always, is the outrageously early hour the Palestinians have to leave their homes in order to get to the CP. Most then spend the day in hard physical labor some of which involves dangerous machinery. At the end of the work day they then have to come back through the CP and start their way back home. This leaves little or no time for families or any other activity besides sleeping and eating. This seems like unfair and cruel labor practices. The Palestinians are given permits to work in Israel in order to provide us with cheap labor and yet the set up at the check points in no way reflects that these are people whom we need and whom we have requested to work for us.
Micky spoke to a man from Jericho who leaves his home at 2:30AM in order to get to the CP. One man from Akrabi leaves his home at 2:00AM, arrives at the CP at 3:00AM, and exits the Israeli side at about 4:30AM. At night he gets to the CP at 5:00PM and often doesn't get home until 8:00PM. This man from Akrabi says there is a problem in the return because not all the workers from Akrabi get to the CP at the same time in the evening. If they all don't take a taxi together, the ride home is long and indirect. When alone he has to take a taxi to Nablus, then another taxi to Hawarra, from there to Zatara, and only from Zatara can he get a taxi directly to Akrabi.
One man complained that there is no continuity in getting permits. He gets a permit for two months and then he has to apply again. During the application of a new permit he has no permit and can not work.
A man from Jamel wanted to know if we could help him. His wife is from Jabarrah and she is allowed to go and visit her parents there and to stay overnight. However, he is not allowed to stay overnight. He'd like to have the permission to do so. Micky is going to see what she can do.