Eliyahu Crossing, Eyal Crossing, Habla, Jayyus, Mon 30.7.12, Morning
06:00 Eliyahu crossing
There were about 7-8 cars in the parking lot outside the checkpoint, in the area open to the public, probably waiting for Palestinians who hadn't yet come through the inspection. At least 30 workers were still waiting to go through. A number of the cars were waiting with their doors open (including the baggage) at the inspection area.
06:15 Agricultural crossing, Jayyus
Because of a misunderstanding, the Ecumenical volunteers were not waiting for us at the checkpoint. When we arrived, a tractor was going through. Then another tractor entered the checkpoint and went through quickly. A Palestinian arrived with a horse and wagon, went up to the soldiers; he didn't get off the wagon, but gave his documents and continued on his way, and after him another tractor whose driver didn't get down. The passage was very quick, apparently influenced by the heat.
06:30 Gate closed.
We go by way of the village 'Azun; naturally, the stores were closed,, except for the grocery stores.
06:45 About 20 people were waiting at the exit from 'Azun.
No workers wait to enter. There are 2 vehicles at the inspection area.
There are soldiers, but the gate is closed. Palestinians are sitting and waiting on the other side. A farmer is harvesting okra next to the fence. The soldiers open the gates before 07:00, and the Palestinians get organized.
The first group of 5 reaches the turnstile and enters the inspection booth. The next 5 reach the turnstile. The first group went through in 2 minutes as did the second group. The elderly guard from the nursery, with the donkey and wagon, was not required to get down from the wagon and passed without any inspection.
15 people went through in 6 minutes the vehicle gate was wide open. People were passing through with a smile on their faces and greeting us with "shalom", as though we were responsible for the quick passage..
A tractor arrived from the direction of the nurseries, with a pesticide tank connected to it; it,too, went through with no inspection.
07:20 No line, although people arrive steadily and go through quickly.
07:35 Eyal crossing (Qalqilya)
A lot of taxis and Israeli transporters are in the parking lot, and a lot of Palestinians are waiting for their employers. It seems that all the workers who have regular jobs and permits for Israel have already left, and only those with "merchant" permits are waiting.
Many workers are still going through, dozens waiting for their employers, managers and transport. Little by little, the lot empties, but there are still dozens of workers who didn't find work and yet another day goes by, after making the arduous trip from their homes, to which they will return without any money. They speak about how, since they didn''t find an employer who is willing to give them a permit in which he assures them of work, they can't get the official standing of a worker, but only that of a merchant, which doesn't give them as many privileges. A number of people encircled us and asked for help and advice about specific problems, and also people who just wanted to talk about their difficult lives and their normal desires to bring up their children in a better world.
I have phone numbers for all these people, and naturally I explained to them that I can only hope to clarify some things, but I promised to get back to them even if I don't have any answers. I left these people with a heavy heart, helpless, and quite ashamed.