Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Sun 27.10.13, Morning
Arrive at 03:55. Dozens of women are gathered next to the women's gate. Groups of men are also waiting in the lot next to the lines. A long line of men reaches into the lane. Not clean.
At 04:00 exactly both the men's lane and the women's gate open. They start to rush and fall on the scanning machine for those entering. A jam was created. The loud speaker blasts something. No one understands what.
04:05 The women's gate closes after the last person in line. Between 04:06-04:08 another 6 women arrive (all of them, notice, arrive before 4:10), but the women's gate was already closed and they are forced into the men's line.
04:15 Next to the entrance to Israel - a steady stream of people are coming through. On our way, we saw a stream of women and men who already came out; that is, within 5-10 minutes from the opening of the gates. At the same time, part of the people were detained: at 04:20 a woman was standing next to us who spoke a little Hebrew (unusual) and told us that she had entered through the women's gate. She said there were 2 inspection rooms set aside for women. Her sister, for whom she was waiting, got out at 04:30. This means that the first people who entered got out quickly, but the others took more time. Later on, a man explained to us that the women wait until a woman soldier is free to check them.
Women who came out after 04:30 reported that they had entered on the main line. They said that the pushing outside was unbearable, that they were pressed into the passage, but within the area itself everything went well and easily. Men reported the same thing. Another man complained about the late opening on Fridays, and suggested that they should also add half an hour on Sundays - that is, open at 03:30. We explained that this was not a possibility .
04:44 The exit turnstile was closed; not clear why. A crowd developed. 04:46, the turnstile opened again. The side gate which was supposed to decrease the pressure didn't open this time. A man whom we marked at the entrance to the area came out in 15 minutes. Everything was flowing pretty well this time.
5:00 - We left.