Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)
4:30 When we arrive, some minibuses are already leaving. For a change the access road is clear, the minibuses are lined up in the parking lot.
4:35 The lines are flowing at the entrance to the checkpoint. We pick two men to watch for.
4:40 The exit is also flowing. We spotted one man we were looking for, he got through in fifteen minutes. We didn't see the other one. Signs of Ramadan: almost no one has a food hamper, and many men are sleeping with their heads on the curb.
4:55 Back at the Palestinian side, the turnstiles are limiting access again. The guards halt and release the turnstiles. We picked a woman to watch for. She got through in ten minutes.
5:15 We leave.
5:55 We got to Hable early, but a few people are already waiting on the far side of the fence.
6:12 The soldiers arrive. They unlock the big gate near us.
6:15 Dozens of people are standing in line at the gate. A soldier locks the gate she opened a few minutes before, but won't explain why. They open the narrow gate for foot traffic.
6:18 The first five people are allowed to start the checking process.
6:22 The first people get through the checkpoint and enter the seamline zone. Two men pass bicycles through the first gate and leave them there.
6:25 After getting cleared, the two retrieve their bicycles.. A minibus drops off more people near the gate. When I ask, a man tells me that vehicles aren't allowed through until 7:00.
6:30 We leave.