Eyal Crossing, Wed 21.4.10, Morning
We arrived at Eyal at 4:15AM and a stream of people was already leaving the terminal and had made their way to the parking lot. On Wednesdays the Internationals that observe on the Palestinian side are not there. Therefore we were not able to get an approximate number of those waiting on line. Evidently the line was long throughout the shift because whenever we asked someone how long they had waited, it was always more than an hour and up to an hour and forty-five minutes.
During the time we were there the flow of people coming out of the terminal was from 6 to 35 people a minute with the average being about 20.
This means that about 3000 people came through by 6:30PM when we left and there were still people being processed and according to the Palestinians, there was still a long line inside.
We can no longer wait at the exact point where Palestinians leave the terminal but about 50 yards further away. This means we are not able to see how many stations that check the IDs are open. There is a one way turnstile that prevents us from getting any closer. We wondered how people who have forgotten a parcel or their IDs inside the terminal, or those who must turn back for one reason or another manage to go back in. We were told by the Eyal supervisor Shimon that there are cameras at that turnstile that can record who needs to turn back. Eventually someone will allow them to come in. Mickey has been there when it took a wait of 20 minutes. Shimon says his concern is not the few that may need to go in the opposite direction but the 4000 that come through daily in the direction of Israel.
Mickey had noticed that there is only one water fountain that works. There is a series of 4 together that are blocked and don't work. According to Shimon, they get blocked by sand when the Palestinians use the fountain to wash their feet before prayer. He said he'd check it out but that they can always get water to drink from the sinks in the bathrooms.
There were 3 new small shelters against rain in the second parking lot near the coffee stand. They don't look as they can protect more than 30 people each.