Eyal Crossing, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Jubara (Kafriat), Sun 7.11.10, Morning
04:03 - A woman's voice announces on a loud speaker: "Good morning! Beginning of work, beginning of passage." We approach the entrance area for the checkpoint and see that people are already moving into the "sleeve". The fences and the gates are numbered 1-5, so there will be order. Why not?
About 30-40 people rush to the first magnometer every time the turnstile opens. Between groups, the turnstiles are locked for a short period. The unseen voice continuously orders those entering how to behave and strips any residue of privacy or individuality from them. "Yallah, move, move, one at a time, enter...."
04:10 - the first people exiting the structure can be seen. On the side, where the Palestinians are waiting to enter the checkpoint and pass through inspection, there the team of the EAPPI stands every Sunday. We ask them to pass a note to one of the people waiting and to record the time when it is given. Meanwhile, we go over to the exit point. There we "discover" a new mobile pool (?) and also a built one and a short path leading to it.
Next to the exit turnstiles there is a sign hanging which forbids photographing the "Security installation", as though it would be possible to see, from the outside, anything beyond a wall and fences, and it is authorized by "The Authority over land passageways of the Ministry of Defense"... There seem to be 6 counters in operation: building workers, garages, sanitation, agriculture and the rest of the tasks that are spurned by the Jewish Israelis who exit all the time.
A woman from the village of Barra is an agricultural worker in Nir Eliyahu until 13:00 and she says that the work is very hard. Another woman, a resident of Tulkarm, works in the moshav of Beit ha'Levi. The women complain about the pushing and crowding during the passage through the checkpoint. (we have written frequently already requesting a separate line for women!).
A man, not so young, who received the note from the EAPPI volunteer, leaves at 04:26. He received the note at 04:12, i.e., 14 minutes went by from the time he entered the gates. Not bad.
We asked the volunteer to give a note to a younger man, since one of the common complaints is that young men are detained for a relatively long period in the "rooms". After a few minutes, the volunteer told us that 2 young men refused to take the note, so she passed it along to a man of about 40. We are waiting for him. He exits at 05:10. That is, if he received the note at 04;35, the passage time was 35 minutes (in contrast to the previous one, who passed in 14 minutes. Maybe, as the day grows longer, the inspection period also lengthens?)
A man approaches us and asks politely, "What will happen?" "Nothing", he answers himself, "they say 'security' and everyone agrees that the people of Israel are having the wool pulled over their eyes."
Another person says to us, "If you are here, everything is all right." And, in opposition, someone else complains that, in spite of the fact that there are 3 lanes inside, only 2 are being used. And someone else says, "there is a lot of confusion. People are waiting inside, outside, in the rooms." And at 05:45, one of the people going out says "Today was mia-bil-mia (100%)" and "Come here every day!" as though the presence of MachsomWatch improves the attitude towards the Palestinians.
We tested how many people pass through in 5 minutes: at 04:35--04:40, 100 people. Between 05:10-05:15, 124. We gave the telephone of the Workers' Hotline to a man who worked in the Ashkelon area and didn't get his salary.
We returned to the entrance point. There, the EAPPI volunteer told us that one of the men was turned back. It turned out that his employer canceled his permit and didn't pay him. We also gave her the telephone no. of the Worker's Hotline. A woman returned in the direction of Irtach and, behind her, another man. We couldn't find out clearly from the woman what the reason was, and they did not explain to the man why he was not allowed to go to work.
06:08 - - We left the area but people in the plaza outside ask us why the checkpoint doesn't operate like the one in Qalqilya; there Palestinian police are in charge in the area where the Palestinians enter the checkpoint. One of the people waiting for a ride to work asked for help in putting an end to the harassment he suffers every time. They detain him when he gets to the checkpoint and sometimes send him back to Nablus. Today they let him through. We gave him Sylvia's phone number. For the sake of our guest, we travel to Jabara. It is hard to even describe the fencing and the checkpoint here. The lane which goes to the East is blocked by a massive iron gate. The Western lane is open. 07:10 - Eyal checkpoint. It is also undergoing cosmetic changes. The yellow signs forbidding photography were also hung here, at the entrance to the area and next to the exit turnstiles leaving the inspection booths. These signs are written only in Hebrew (and one might possibly think that these signs were thus put up just for us!) and, to make the point clearer to non-Hebrew speakers, there is also a sign on the fence with an icon of a camera within a red circle with a red line through it. There are water cannals dug around the checkpoint which have the appearance of a moat in front of a fortress.0 8:10 - Hablah. People are still waiting to go to the plant nurseries and the fields. A young man who is waiting in the shed says that they opened the checkpoint at 07:00. There is a rep from the DCO here. 5 people enter at a time to the inspection room. The soldier inspecting the vehicles actually says "please" and "have a good week", and seems to know the people going through, putting a hand on their shoulder
.08:24 - We left while there were still about 20 people at the checkpoint and several vehicles. We traveled by way of the nursery of Abed just when his worker who comes from Hablah arrived and Abed said he was supposed to be there at 07:00: "because of the checkpoint
עברנו דרך המשתלה של עבד ובדיוק העובד שלו שמגיע מחבלה הגיע גם הוא ועבד אמר כי היה צריך להיות ב-7: 'בגלל המחסום'.