Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)
“Harb! - a war is going on inside”. Skimping and exploitation.
4.50 Already from far we hear shouting coming from inside the Terminal. Apparently the Terminal opened in time (4.45) with many workers already inside. No one exited though yet, like we saw on the morning of our last shift there, when people came out after 5 min. This is not the only difference from that first of May when the atmosphere was much more positive and hopeful. (see:http://www.machsomwatch.org/en/reports/checkpoints/01/05/2015/morning/28496). At the renewed entrance at the Palestinian side of the Terminal a crowd is forming and pushing impatiently in front of the two closed turnstiles with its magnometers like in “the old days”. Why?
Crowding in front of the turnstiles
5.00 When we go to the exit side, today we only see angry people, people transpiring and out of breath.
“Harb! “ they say “a war is going on inside”. And looking and hearing what goes on there we indeed are shocked and wonder if ever we saw it as bad as this Friday-dawn. No-one, but absolutely NO-ONE, seems –at least more or less- content. This is the start of a working day!
“Not enough checking- booths and lanes are open, just 3 or 4!” we hear, and “Those who work there do so unwillingly, slow and hostile”.
Outside the Terminal no money is saved on the landscaping and gardening; it looks so beautiful but inside?
We realize that, at the expense of laborers, the manager of the Terminal is skimping on hiring staff. As if Israel is not earning lots of money from among others the work-permits of these low-cost laborers which they have to renew every 3 or 6 month!
We hear of one more way to exploit the Palestinians workers: Israeli brokers (“pimps”) arrange work-permits for “freelance”workers (=without social security and health insurance), and at a cost of 1200 shekel to the Employment Agency; but they charge the workers 2200. And this PER MONTH !
No wonder some workers try to find cheaper ways of transportation than the transit-bus to save on their daily expenses.
6.45 We leave, although there is still no end to the flow of workers.