Reihan, Shaked, Tue 22.7.08, Morning
Translation: Devorah K.
06:00 Reihan CP
About 30 workers are waiting for rides. The CP has opened at 05:00, the equipment is working, the traffic to the seamline zone is flowing and everybody is "happy". One person asks me to go down into the terminal through the sleeve, because a few women were admitted to the inspection room and have been there for a long time. As I start walking down, six women, who apparently were in that room, come out, but I did not hear any complaint from them. Some of the seamstresses have already gone off to Barta'a, and the rest are now coming out and will be able to go there imemdiately. Later, we timed one person from entrance to exit -- about 10 minutes.
We went down to the Palestinian parking lot. A few drivers are napping in their cars. From time to time a taxi arrives and the passengers enter the terminal immediately, and sometimes there is a group of pedestrians from the yellow gate opposite Yaabed and they enter the terminal.
At 06:00 on the dot the first pickup trucks loaded with goods enter for inspection. By 07:15 not a single one is left. In the meantime, some others joined the four that were waiting in the parking lot.
We went over to observe from the bus stop. A truck is parked near the post at the entrance from the seamline zone to the West Bank. All the doors are open and the woman inspector spends a long time examining the engine, holding a mirror under the car and waiting for a long time for advice or help or for something else. The driver sits and waits in the garden, near the slide. This inspection took about half an hour. The drivers who were waiting patiently behind it went through afterwards with only their documents examined.
Opposite us, we observed the inspection of the private cars. In the sleeve the workers went through very quickly, but they knew well enough to tell us that it would take forty minutes for the yellow taxi in which they came to the CP to complete the inspection. And they were right. Three cars are standing still with all their doors open. The drivers are waiting in the shed. One man is inspecting all three. He goes from one to the other, examines the engine, the baggage compartment, goes away, then waits, returns, inspects the mirror, goes away, waits, returns. He wears a white glove, strokes the steering wheel, the mirror, the seats and the sides, and goes away again, and returns. We approached him to find out what was going on. Our impression was that the inspection was being slowed down on purpose. A security guard who appeared to be more senior than the subordinate inspectors explained to us belligerently that he cannot explain the reason for the long drawn out inspection. And after a telephone conversation, apparently with Sharon, who is in charge of the CP, he told us to ask at the DCO. We did not ask.
The CP usually opens at 07:00 and we thought that we would not see any traffic, because we got there late. The old man on the donkey passed us on the road. A few cars were waiting for workers on the side of the seamline zone. Near the turnstile we saw ten people waiting. Except for one delay of three minutes or more, the people left the x-ray area at intervals of one or two minutes. Cars going to the West Bank were inspected quickly. The security guard in the hut did not appear to be concerned, and his rifle wasn't drawn. A gate that was like "real life" -- apparently a superfluous CP.