15:00 – 16:00
I took a father and his sons, ages 15 and 16, from Rambam Hospital to the checkpoint and waited to observe them. A few workers returned from their work at that hour, and they arrived at the checkpoint in private cars. After a quarter of an hour, the number of those returning grew and they arrived in minibuses, vans and private cars. Among them were agricultural workers (also women), construction workers and merchants. Many work in the agricultural moshavs in Hevel Tanah. One of the workers said he works all week in Ashkelon and returns home from there on Thursday. I met a veteran merchant from Anin. He returned from Afula and at his mature age, he has a right to pass without a permit.
I approached the terminal together with an employer from Horfesh who waited for his worker. It turns out that in addition to the passage to Israel during the morning hours, there are three passage “windows” during the day, each time for 10 minutes: 13:20-13:30; 15:20-15:30; 18:20-18:30. On Friday, 13:20-13:30.
The passage to the West Bank isn’t operative on the side of the terminal, as in the past, but through the terminal building, but there are no delays. By the way, here also they renovated the flooring with the same colored ceramic tiles as those in Barta’a.
When I stood at the opening of the terminal, a security guard who stood on the “bridge” under the ceiling, called to me to enter. The security guard wanted to know what I was doing there and for what reason. The inspector phoned to wherever she phoned, and then the director of the checkpoint, Shimon Levy, arrived, along with an additional security guard. We went together from the terminal and they told me, as in the past, that it is allowed to observe only in the area of the parking lot. All of my complaints on the conduct of other checkpoints of the same type, were not beneficial. According to the director of the checkpoint, there needs to be coordination of observations with the operational director, Rudy, 050-6291579.
I asked the director for the number passing through the checkpoint. The number of those who pass from all directions increased and about 3,000 people arrive per day; even about 3500 on Sunday.
At about 15:30, many people arrived at one time. They stopped them for a few minutes at the opening of the sleeve that leads from the parking lot to the terminal, because according to the director, it was crowded inside.
The parking lot was clean and orderly. Along the way are many benches.
At the vehicle checkpoint it appeared there was always a line of cars of Arab citizens of Israel on their way home from the West Bank to Israel.