Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Fri 24.5.13, Morning
Irtah/Sha'ar Efraiym Dawn shift
04.55 We arrive to find the gates open. 05.02 A wild rush of people to get to the terminal first. Why is this important? It is important to remember that on weekdays the gates open at 4.00 and the start of the working day is similar to Friday when the gates open at 5. Annelien goes to the gate at the entrance to Israel to check how much time it takes for those who are first to get through the terminal. They were out in 5 minutes. Each car that was waiting outside left as soon as it was full. That is to say that the first people where on their way at 05.15.
When we arrived we saw the stream of men arriving. But they did not join the line at the turnstiles but gathered at what in the past we called the “women’s gate.” On Friday it is true that there were one or two women in the irregular line but most were men. It seems that when the gates are opened this side door also does so even though it is impossible to see clearly because those outside hid the view. But the fact that the line became shorter in spite of the fact that other people streamed to it shows this clearly.
Is there a new agreement with those handling the affairs of this checkpoint?
This increases the crowding and pushing at the entrance to the terminal.
And also: The path leading to the terminal next to the gates is strewn with rubbish which causes a problem to those entering. A big round bin for a few minutes prevents the use of one of the turnstiles at the entrance until a worker who was willing to delay freed the blockage by kicking the bin aside.
05.16 At the entrance we found an elderly man sitting and catching his breath. He said that he had been crushed in the crowd and lost his sandal. Afterwards a barefoot woman comes out who has lost both her sandals. Another came out scratched and bloody. Again there is the word….a mess…as there had been two weeks ago.
A man whom we had marked at the entrance to the terminal at 05.14 came out at 05.34. Those who had not managed to be among the first to enter took a longer time. That is the reason for the wild rush of people. Later on there is no such rush.
On the exit side of the terminal 5 windows are open. The exit is steady and fast. People come out angry and bitter.
06.00 We left