05:55 Barta’a Checkpoint
When we pulled up we could already see heads of people waiting in line. We entered the lower parking lot, where there were many people forming two lines stretching to the end of the lot. The laborers appear tense and unhappy, having to wait at least half an hour to enter the terminal. The morning is hot and the air didn’t move at all, making this the beginning of an especially difficult day. When the carousel opens, 25 people go through. Everyone is disappointed. Two or three minutes later, 78 people pass through, and a few minutes later another 80, then 115, then 100, but the end of the line remains where it was, only the people have changed. A, the volunteer usher, is still here. He has a regular job in Nazareth, but he’s not willing to abandon his ‘role’. Though promises were made about stationing official ushers at the checkpoint, we didn’t see any.
The checkpoint has a paved and organized parking lot, and there are fewer cars. The lot is crowded with many trucks and pickups, full of merchandise. A is told by one of the laborers that there are three examining stations in the terminal. It’s not enough. Two more stations would help alleviate the pressure.
We drove to Emricha, bringing packages of clothing and other items to one of the local residents. The house is quiet and we don’t meet a soul. We see only the chickens outside.
The checkpoint didn’t open at 06:30 as scheduled; people are angry.