Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Thu 14.10.10, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
Hundreds congregate around the turnstiles on the Palestinian side.
The turnstiles were opened at 4:00 a.m.
The turnstiles open once for 5 minutes (approximately) and each time some 50 people exit.
At the exit people report that they have been in the rooms for 45 minutes, an hour, half an hour.
They are all bitter about having to hang around in the rooms in a great crush on a daily basis.
Once again we meet a group of Palestinians who have come from the village of Zabda, near Barta'a, who are forced to cross via Artach.
These people leave home at 2:00 a.m. and get through the crossing at 6:30 a.m. What a waste of time, of hours of sleep, of money and of strength (= life) because of the caprices of the occupation regime.
There are still hundreds of people by the turnstiles.
We hear shouts and a lot of noise from within the crossing.
The important thing is that they have made beautiful garden beds of stones filled with red loam. Next time we shall probably see flowers there – to gladden the hearts of the tired and harassed people.
And these are the 'lucky' ones who have managed to get into Israel to work.
Again the request is raised to open up at 4:00 a.m. on Fridays and not at 5:00 a.m.
We leave feeling helpless in the face of the scenes around us: fences, fences, fences and walls.
And Israel has a heart of stone.