'Anabta, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Ras 'Atiya, Mon 17.5.10, Afternoon

Riva and Nur (reporting); Guest: Svetlana; Translator: Charles K.

14:50  Ras A-Tira
We photographed the new gate blocking the entrance to
the village.  Photo attached.  As we arrived
they were wiring the gatesinfo-icon for electricity.

15:00  Habla
We wanted to see whether a line had already formed at
Habla as a result of the change in the hours the checkpoint is open (now
from 07:00-08:00, 12:00-13:00, and 17:00-18:00).  Three
people found a shady spot and fell asleep.  They finished
their workday and are now waiting until 17:00 so they'll be allowed to
go home.

5:35  Deir Sharaf
Not manned.

15:40  Anabta
Traffic flows quickly without inspections.

16:15  Irtah
Women in Irtah
Laborers returning from a working in Israel.  We
see them at the entrance to the installation where they're inspected,
and when they exit it.  A group of women also goes through. 
To my surprise, they ask to be photographed.  Photos
attached.  A man from Jenin is very angry - "When I was a
child you took my lands away, and now you're taking my dignity. On the
way to work on Fridays we're put in small, crowded rooms, 20 - sometimes
30 - people, why can't we cross with dignity?"  He's
right.  I promised to come this Friday.

A Palestinian Israeli relates that he's employed driving laborers from
the checkpoint to Israel, that the checkpoint is closed between 11:00
and 16:00; it opens briefly at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00.  One
of the security personnel says that's not the case.

16:55-17:35  Habla
At 17:00 it opens.  A continuous stream of
laborers.  They arrive in twos and threes.  Sometimes
a small group forms of people waiting, six or seven.  They
approach the inspection area in groups of four.  A man
without an ID isn't allowed through.  The soldier explains
that "those are the rules, and I'm only following the rules."  "What
if they fenced off your neighborhood and opened it for a total of only
three, non-continuous hours, what would you do?" I asked him.  "I'd
certainly be very angry, but I'm only following orders here."  "We
never only follow orders."  A herd of sheep comes along;
by the time the shepherd has gone through inspection the sheep
dispersed.  A horse and cart are inspected.  Photos