Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)
3:57 When we arrive, a guard greets us cheerfully. We notice a set of tall poles that were put up next to the (still unopened) parking lot, and we ask the guard what they are. There's going to be a covered area for the workers' morning prayers, he says, see how we invest in their well-being? He finishes the discussion with hopes for peace; we agree.
4:01 The gates open. The flow of people is smooth, no pressure. The construction site beyond the fence shows progress: A set of metal pillars have gone up, and about half of them are topped with arches. We go to the other side and time a worker's passage at ten minutes. We see a lot of smiling faces.
4:12 The exit turnstile shuts down for half a minute.
4:22-4:25 Back observing the entrance, we see a man climbing over the barbed wire to get to the head of the line. A few minutes later, another one does the same. However, we are accustomed to seeing much worse. We hear a few complaints about crowding, but again we are accustomed to worse.
4:27 The entry turnstiles shut down for about five minutes (why?). When they open again, the loudspeaker asks the workers to proceed one by one "wachad wachad, shukrun." This is the first time we've heard anyone say thank you.
4:33 Back to the exit side: We time a man's passage at seven minutes. Really quick.
Not all faces we meet now are bright. They say: Nothing has fundamentally changed. Our situation is still bad.
4:45 We leave.