Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Sun 21.8.11, Morning

Ruthie Ristik (reporting); Natanya translating

There is a gate for the women to which they can come until 04.00

4.03 The turnstiles open. After 2 minutes there comes a call from the loudspeaker, “ Good morning. Work has begun.”

Until the passage opens there is an open gate for women only and a Palestinian overseer is in charge.

The gate is right at the entrance, next to the turnstiles,  and the overseer closes it as soon as the passage opens. Whoever came over that had to stand in line with everyone else.

There are not many people waiting and within a few minutes everyone had gone through. 113 men and 29 women.

4.12 There is no queue and anyone arriving goes in and goes through.

The passage is quick and quiet today.

The EAPPI volunteers  who are there with us (but on the other side of the fence, on the Palestinian side) tell us that it was not so two weeks ago. People simply could not go through and phone calls to the humanitarian centre did not help/

4.20 There are many people outside the building waiting for their transport, sitting, smoking, praying and drinking.

At the parking lot are private taxis (at least 30).

The kiosk is open but hidden with a tarpaulin for Ramadan.

There are taxis for whom transport is not provided by the employers. 10 shekel to Netanya and 20 to Tel Aviv.

04.00 – 04.30 613 men and 57 women passed through.

The turnstiles are not closed. There is no reason. Whoever arrived goes through quickly.

4.45 Once again there is a queue but all the same the turnstiles remain open and the passage is quick and quite.

4.50 Now they are closed. But 3 minutes later opened again.

I checked the time. Someone who went in at 4.50 came out at 4.59  and other went at 4.50 and came out 05.02. everyone I spoke to said that today had been a swift passage.

5.10 The turnstiles closed for two minutes.

4.30 – 5.00  889 men and 19  women went through.

5.00 – 5.30  1148 men went through and 12 women.

5.30 – 6.00 765 men went through and 3 women.

The last of the Palestinians keep coming and go through.

In total 3600 men and amongst them 100 women.

6.20 I left