Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)
06:58 We arrive. The new parking lot is open. At this relatively late time, there is still a stream of workers leaving the checkpoint, but there is no pressure at the entrance - whoever arrives walks in. A few people go back, all without pressure/\.
07:03 Two women are standing at the gate from the new "slalom." We approach the fence and try to speak with them (unsuccessfully - we don't have a common language.) A guard uses the loudspeaker to ask us how we got there, I point to the open gate, he asks us to back off and we obey.
In the course of the conversation a third woman joins the two. After a minute all three proceed towards the checkpoint. The voice on the loudspeaker asks them to wait a few minutes more, it isn't clear why. Several men pass through.
07:07 We go around to the Israeli side. About twenty men ask to go back, saying there's no work.
The ground is very dirty, mainly used plastic bags. I thought they need more trash cans, but I noticed that the ones they have are empty.
Three buses are waiting in the yard. We ask and are told they are taking visitors to a prison.
07:30 We leave. We want to see the Palestinian side of the crossing. According to a map I found, there should be a road number 574 that leads there from road 557, but in practice it doesn't seem to exist. We took road 557 as far as the entrance to the settlement Avnei Hefetz. A polite soldier at a barricade there said that that road (5615?) going the other direction would probably get us to Irtach, he knows people take it to Tul Karm. But we aren't allowed to go there, because it leads to Area A.
We go home.