'Anabta, Irtah, Jubara (Kafriat), Thu 2.4.09, Morning

Tsviya Sh., Rachel A. (reporting)

Translation: Galia S.


04:25 – At Karin L.'s request, we get up very early and arrive at the checkpoint when all is still dark. The lamp-posts that are in the area in front of the entrance to the checkpoint aren't lit and it is barely possible to discern behind the fence the dark pack of people that are standing there waiting for the checkpoint to open. Once every few minutes the turnstiles open, two posts, and another pack of workers dash inside toward the facility. Outside the area is packed with workers - men and women - and drivers who have come to take them.

The whole time we are there, up to 06:30, a stream of people approach us to tell us the story of their daily trials, starting with getting up very early hoping to arrive at the checkpoint at a reasonable hour (02:00 – 03:00) in order to catch a good place in the line of thousands of people who fill the area, continuing with the low number of posts opened to check the entering people, the rooms they go through where they have to take off their clothes for the check, which is both degrading and time consuming and sometimes result in the loss of a work-day when the employers don't wait for them. In addition they have to swallow the curses and the insults hurled at them by the soldiers who stand on top of the facility. The way back is the same process in the opposite direction. Life at home is reduced to eating and sleeping.

The main part of the story is the way they stand there so crammed that they are close to being choked or running over one another. A week ago ambulances came to get out the wounded that had been run over in the crowd. People are hurt both physically and mentally in this pressure.

Having finally made it, the workers come inside to discover only few open posts. Two to six posts out of 16 that exist are supposed to handle the passage of thousands of people. At the time we watch there are 6 open posts.

In the teeming lot outside, a security man stands with a pointed gun and a haunted look.

Dignity, time, the value of human beings exist elsewhere, not her.

"Do something, say something, you just stand there and do nothing. Look what's going on here. Talk to people. Bring the media". This is what we keep hearing from people. A kind of helplessness that seems to imply: We are treated like animalsinfo-icon. Your leaders and our leaders double-cross us and we can do nothing to change anything.

We have been going to checkpoints for 5 – 6 years. Maybe it's time to turn the searchlight here, demonstrate, protest, meet people, bring the media and show all those who don't wish to see another backyard with tuff and olive trees what's going on.

Who of us is responsible for this? Tsviya and I will be there too.

Later we also go to Jubara, Anabta and the new checkpoint at Deir Sharaf. There hasn't been any activity worth mentioning.