Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Jayyus, Kufr Jammal, Mon 23.4.12, Morning
05:45 Eliyahu crossing
About 40 Palestinians wait to cross; more people join the line. We didn’t remain because we hurried to reach the Jayyus gate which is open from 05:30 to 06:30.
06:00 Southern Jayyus agricultural gate
The two ecumenical volunteers we’d arranged to meet have been there from the time the gate opened. They report that not many people have been crossing recently, nor were there many people this morning. Unfortunately, we neglected to ask them the reason – fewer permits, or less seasonal work? It’s worth finding out.
They report that conditions at the Eyal crossingare still very difficult on Sundays. They didn’t understand the significance of what they’d been told about the entry permits granted for specific times (for 05:00 and 07:00). I explained to them what we’d been told at the DCO about permits for workers employed on a permanent basis who are allowed to enter starting at 05:00, and “merchant” permits granted for a later hour. And also regarding workers whose permits allow them to remain overnight, which is why the crossing is more congested on Sundays.
They told us that the army has been coming into Jayyus and'Azzunon many nights, and that at least 30 youths from 'Azzun were arrested in February and not yet released.
Few people go through the gate; they’re inspected quickly. The gate closes at 06:30; the soldiers continue to the northern Jayyus agricultural gatewhich is opened three times a day for 15 minutes, for one family living beyond the fence.
We return through the Eliyahu crossing to the Habla gate.
06:58 Eliyahu crossing. Many laborers still wait to cross; many cars (about 10) at the vehicle inspection station. We drive through with Machsom Watch flags flying.
07:00 We meet laborers who’ve already been inspected; the second group exits as we approach. Crossing is very fast, without any delays. People wait at the revolving gate to the facility, which speeds up the crossing. The pedestrian gate is locked; a nice reservist has the job of opening and closing the vehicle gate for pedestrians. He’s willing to accept our suggestion about making the process more efficient, but the officer, an MP who’s apparently his commander, refuses and rejects it, nor is he willing to talk to us.
07:40 After the two buses arrive, as well as the elderly watchman from the plant nurseries who is also required by the MP commander to go through inspection, we leave and return to the Eliyahu crossing where about 30 laborers still waiting to cross.