Eyal Crossing, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Wed 10.11.10, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
Noise and shouts from the surge of labourers, the end of which we are unable to see, greets us. The usual horrifying routine is in place at the labourers' entrance to the roadblock. For a whole 10 minutes no one crosses.
The sound of the muezzin that fills the valley brings the opening of the turnstiles with it – how strange! 30 – 50 labourers enter per minute, 10 minutes later we move over to the exit. Someone pointed out that only two lanes are functioning. Later we counted 4 – 5. When we asked we were told that it is O.K. today. "If only it were like this every day".
Since the beginning of the week they have been spending less time in the rooms.
Let's hope that it continues in which case they can make other arrangements. If they don't have to take into account the endless waiting at the crossing – they won't have to get up every day at 2:00 a.m.!
Once again we hear complaints about the late opening on Fridays.
We went through the gate; at the eastern side of the roadblock the traffic of people is light. The great mass has already crossed. Within a few minutes an armed guard arrives and asks us to leave. There is a crowd and a huge queue in front of the turnstiles at the exit. They have already been through the inspections and left the building – what is the point of an additional turnstile? And where will they put the next one? Day is already breaking outside – the intensity and brilliance of the petunia flowers beside the fences looks grotesque. A group of people remarked again on the limitation on the amount of food that can be brought in – not a kilo of sugar and not a bottle of oil, even a small one, not a jar of olives and not more than a tiny packet of herbs – a security threat – the ticking bomb in the bags of food.
6:20 a.m. On the road leading from Eyal Crossing to Road 55, which serves the settlement Tsofin, a gate has been set up (we didn't note its number); it is an inspection roadblock for the few Palestinians who are allowed to cross it: labourers (builders mainly) at Tsofin and land owners (from Kalkilya and the surrounding villages who have been cut off from their lands with the building of the winding fence around Qalqiliya). According to the tile layer with whom we talked they go through another inspection at the entrance to Tsofin, "there is more work there now", because they are building a new estate. During the whole day's work they are accompanied by a guard who gets paid from the wages of the labourers. This, in addition to the fact that the wages in the settlement are lower than those received by those permitted to cross into and work in Israel… The man we spoke to got married a few days ago (we congratulated him) and hopes that when he, please god, has a child he will be considered less dangerous and be able to get a permit to work in Israel…
The labourers get to the roadblock in cars, park them behind the roadblock and are transported or walk to Tsofin or to their lands.
We didn't stop at Eliyau crossing but we saw that a few labourers are still crossing.
The gate opened on time and functions normally: five at a time enter for an inspection of documents and permits. There is some kind of argument in the queue, it causes a stoppage of the crossing by the soldiers who are quite rigid today, and it continues to move again only as quiet breaks out (i.e.: the Palestinians are taught a lesson). The two school buses cross after the drivers are inspected and a soldier has walked through the bus (the children are used to it…).
At 7:15 a.m. almost everyone has crossed and we leave.