Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)
Very calm. Quiet season - agricultural workers are absent.
We arrived earlier than necessary, and had time to notice that the roofed prayer area was dirty, strewn with trash.
3:48 The gates opened, a few minutes late. The first people got through the checkpoint three minutes afterwards.
Between 4:00 and 4:45 there was no significant pressure in the lines. We checked the time it took people to get through the checkpoint. One man managed it in six minutes, most (ten or so) took eight to ten minutes.
A man stopped and asked us if we get paid for getting up at such a godforsaken hour, and also if we thought we did any good. We asked his opinion--he said he personally didn't see any benefit to our presence. We asked why everything has been so calm recently, and he said it's because of the agricultural off-season. In September the agricultural workers will start crossing again, and the mess will return. Later we asked other people, and they agreed. Between June and September the agricultural laborers don't work. Their permits are seasonal, and in the summer they are unemployed.
At 4:50 there was still no pressure on the lines.