Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)
"A good day"
3:45 When we arrived at the entrance to the checkpoint the gates were already open, and the crowd flowed smoothly into the area in front of the building, which gradually filled up. The gates to the building itself were still closed, and opened when we arrived. The turnstiles leading into the area stayed open in spite of the crowd, an unusual situation.
3:57 The lines leading to the checkpoint were all empty when the turnstiles closed. We don't usually see this until about 6:30 on other Sundays. A woman returned to Palestinian territory - we called to ask why, but couldn't hear her answer.
We went around the building several times to watch for specific individuals. They got through in 4 to 15 minutes. In general, women got through faster than men.
One of the exit turnstiles stopped working, and a crowd developed behind the one in use. We reported the problem to the guard in front of the building. He thanked us and took care of it. Cooperation...
Every time we went to the entry side, we saw that the lines were not full, there was no anger or annoyance, no climbing over the barriers, none of the usual problems.
The last time we went to check the entrance, at 5:30, the lines were empty and people walked through freely. "A good day," a man told us, though he had a lot of criticism about the checkpoint in general. Later we read in the newspaper that today the Palestinians were commemorating the Nakba. If fewer people than usual came to work, that could explain the easy passage.
As usual, there was a line for the toilets.