'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Eyal, Irtah, Sun 30.12.07, Morning
7.00 Eyal passage.
More than 100 people in the line and there is great activity with the workers who just got through and the contractors waiting to pick them up. When we try to see how many are in the line an army jeep rushes up to us with the usual claim that we are not allowed to approach to the fence. (Is this legal? Do we have to go when they tell us to?)
Naomi complains about the delay and that the work is not carried out properly, that the posts are not manned. When we ask why there is still a line which should have ended at this hour the DCO captain says that he is not responsible for what happens at the checkpoint and passed on the complaint to his friends at the passage itself. They remind us about the soldiers who were killed two days ago, hikers from Kiryat Arba and that is why they are carrying out a careful inspection and maybe to hint that our complaint about their efficiency is detached from reality.
When we go back to the area next to the passage people tell us that at some stage the computer packed up and therefore there has been a delay.
Irtah crossing. Empty. Everyone has gone through. It opened at 4.00. No delays. The attack at Halhul has not caused any special orders. The prisoners' bus is about to leave.
7.50 The childrens' gate next to the checkpoint of Ar-Ras. The picture that we see is that the gate is empty and that one man with his packages of clothes is kneeling on the ground tearing the nylon so as to show his clothes one by one while the soldiers stand over him with drawn rifles. We stop the car and watch without saying a word. To our surprise one of the soldiers comes up to us and explains in detail what they are doing. An illegal workers returning to his land and his home. They can do nothing against him but to harass him a little and then he will be sent home. Naomi wants to give whole nylon bags to the soldier so that the man will be able to put his clothes back in them after the checking. The soldier takes them and gives them to the man.
8.00 Checkpoint Ar-Ras. Open and no limitations and no special orders.
8.30 Anabta open and no limitations.