Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)

Zvia S., Rahel A. (reporting)

Irtah CP, Dawn


05:30 – The CP was opened according to one of the workmen at 04:00. A great crowd of workmen leave for Taibe and very few transportation vehicles wait at the entrance to the CP. The exit area is still full of workmen leaving.


Although we are here every fortnight we still do not know personally workmen who would be willing to talk to us and tell us things, and we are obliged every time to hunt for people and ask them how the day went. As a rule they do not approach us and only when we ask they answer. This time it seems the morning passed peacefully, in spite of the thousands of workmen.


One man sits ailing and his friend tells us that he was hurt owing to the crowding and it is not sure he will be able to go to work.


Near the entrance to the CP, in spite of the late hour, there was still a lot of activity. Very many workmen still arrive after 06:00.


The erection of the building advances but for some reason doesn't end, although we are already in the middle of February.


At the exit in the direction of Taibe there is always a bonfire with changing workmen. We met two workmen who described the process of getting used to every situation. They are satisfied with their employer, their work and the payment. For many years they have been working directly for an employer, not through a contractor. It was very interesting and pleasant to converse with them.


I would be happy to correspond about the subject of our presence at the CP versus a great crowd of workmen, About the feeling of strangeness and queerness, about the attempts to find value and benefit. To be witnesses but also active in what goes on here. Here and there we receive questions and claims and are not able to help or supply proper answers;the never ending and unchanging repetition of this entire activity does not help. Sometimes, such as today for instance, it seems that miraculously the place functions and enables thousands of people to leave and everything advances smoothly and is seemingly alright (as Amira Hass said when receiving a prize for the ability to manage the occupation as if there were no….off the record) but I don't know how to phrase it in a way that will express the embarrassment, the feeling of redundancy at times, the helplessness, the depressing sight and in fact many times the feeling that there is really no need for this. What do we do here after all. And also the argument between the two of us who are here and do not agree to what is written here.