Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim)

Edith Maor and Nitza Herzog

We arrived a few minutes before 4:00 and saw the first Palestinians already crossing into Israel. Opening early is a welcome change, especially on Sundays when the checkpoint is extra busy. Another improvement is that people no longer climb over the roof to get to the front of the line; the lines move fast enough that it's unnecessary.

People we timed on their way through the "black box" came out in about 10 minutes.

We were less impressed with the bad smell from the wet ground near the fence.