Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)

Annelien Kisch, Hannah Aviram, Translation Tal H.

At 4:50 a.m. people are already exiting the compound.

We walk towards the area from where the Palestinian construction workers and fruit and vegetable pickers enter Israel for work for the Israeli economy. People arrive and enter the compound immediately.

However, the sheds outside and the entry paths that have been added and channel the people do not save time nor shorten their process inside the building and the ‘rooms’. We timed how long it took a man to go from the path behind the entrance sheds to the exit from the turnstile leading outside the building – 20 minutes, similar to that time it took before all these ‘improvements’ were made.

And people do complain of the pressure and the inspections. The random and arbitrariness experienced by individuals add up to a collective experience of the occupation. One of the men coming out tells us that inside someone had felt sickly as a result of the crowing and suffocated, and had to be taken to hospital.

A few days ago, the current Minister of the Interior Ardan declared he would promote the mandatory implementation of the biometric database. If we wanted to know about the precision of biometric identification, today we learned that a worker holding all the necessary permits was not allowed through because his finger print was not identified. And this has not been a singular case.

6:15 a.m. – we left.