Eyal Crossing, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Ras 'Atiya, Wed 7.4.10, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
Today is the first opening day since the closure; the number of those crossing is larger than normal. The traffic flows without any stoppages at the turnstile.
We carried out the process laid out by the manager of the crossing: we walked the length of the exit fence and, using the lower handle, we opened the gate and pressed the black key, a guard immediately appeared and together we approached the fence. We saw that an awning had been put up for part of the queue and there were barriers to form an orderly queue. We parted from the guard with the promise that we would be able to return to the fence later.
At the exit the labourers reported that the inspection is short and that all the checkpoints are functioning. At this point the atmosphere was optimistic.
We tried to call the guard again but, instead of him the unarmed manager appeared and asserted that he is unable to accompany us to the fence and because of pressure of work he is unable to send us a guard. We reminded him of the agreement but he stuck to his position.
At the labourers' exit instead of a door, there is a turnstile which means that there is no way of getting back, and one person who tried to return was forced to wait until we drew the attention of the manager to him.
We suddenly saw Snait and Nur who had come from Irta, they went straight to the fence and the guard and the manager came over immediately, we joined them and they sent us all away.
We drove by the Eliyahu crossing, which was empty. By mistake we got into the queue of Israeli Arabs and experienced what that is like.
On the way we saw a new gate, still being built, and soldiers guarding the work there.
When we got to Ras Atiya we found out that the local gate will remain there in future.
A group of 5 labourers at a time is taken into the inspection room for 5 minutes, and so on.
The owner of a garden centre crossed with his pick-up truck full of plants and waited impatiently for his labourers to go through the inspection. He told us that since the erection of the fence his garden centre has been cut in two; half inside the fence and half outside it. At the same time a greenhouse was destroyed and land confiscated without any compensation. He wastes work time every day while they inspect his labourers.
He and another group of people have employed the services of the lawyer Amnon Zichroni.