Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Fri 27.9.13, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Everything’s as usual (!?)
05:00 At the fence separating Israel from the Palestinian Authority: A long line within the slalom. A sizable, disorganized crowd outside the slalom, near the gate, next to the broken fence (which is no longer being repaired because it’s repeatedly breached, and apparently also because a new, improved facility is under construction nearby).
Congestion increases. Loud complaints are heard.
05:06 The gate opens, the rush begins. The loudspeaker barks in Hebrew: One by one, slowly, slowly!! A few minutes later we move toward the exit to Israel from the facility.
05:11 The first women exit.
05:13 The first man exits. Those exiting say there’s a war inside.
We see announcements in Arabic posted on the exit wall and ask for a translation: Best wishes from the military government at the conclusion of Ramadan. Some of those leaving hurry out, as usual, while others sit waiting.
05:30 We go to the exit plaza to understand where everyone’s rushing to. Many have gathered there; beyond it small groups stand next to vehicles offering transportation, waiting for them to fill up. A few minutes later the scheduled bus arrives to transport people to a particular work place – it’s supposed to depart at 05:45. Many approach it.
We talk to people exiting: We hear the same serious complaints repeatedly:
Again people ask to open the checkpoint at 04:00 also on Friday. It would be ok with them in that case for the gate to close earlier; there’s no difficulty returning. A laborer who doesn’t go through by 05:45 misses the scheduled transportation and is late to work!
People complain again about the breaks in the fence that allow latecomers to push their way to the gate. One tells us his friend had to return home – his hand was injured in the crush. A woman says she was knocked over and almost trampled.
Again people complain that only some, not all, of the booths open on Fridays, which increases the congestion within.
And why don’t they open on time.
And once again they’re not opening the women’s gate on Friday.
Like we said: Everything’s as usual.
06:05 We left.
We’ll conclude by quoting the report of Roni Hammerman, Vivi Tzuri, Ruth Fleischmann and Tamar Fleischmannabout the Al Jib checkpoint, Sunday, 22.9.13, afternoon, sent by Analin:
“In that way, this laborers’ checkpoint has been transformed into a calculated, sophisticated human holding pen whose humiliating and insulting architecture and inspection procedures make invisible the human beings forced to stand from dawn at its entrance without knowing whether they’ll manage to reach the other side in time or will be late and forced to return bowed and without their daily pay from work in the settlements constructed on what used to be land belonging to them and their families.”
The same is true here.