The checkpoint opened at 04:00 and the first people came through a few minutes later. By about 04:40 the number of people exiting more or less matched the number emerging fairly quickly from the inspection facility. Later there was much congestion at the entry to that location, and the rate of those exiting slowed considerably.
It took 15-18 minutes from the time someone entered the small courtyard beyond the turnstile until they reached the exit walkway to where people waited for transportation to work. The winding passageway they tried to install has been moved, and in its place is a path bordered by high fences that stops only a few meters before the entry turnstiles to the small courtyard from which people walk directly into the inspection facility. From about 04:40 it took someone approximately seven minutes to advance from the start of this lane to the small courtyard (and before the starting point are another 15-20 meters to the point the walkway begins at the exit from the “Palestinian” side). During the busiest time the small courtyard was very crowded and congested.
Women reach the entry turnstiles through an area reserved for them, but mix with the men in the small courtyard. Most appear older.
The guard in the tower didn’t allow us to approach the pathway and entry courtyard.
Speaking with people, we learned:
-The buses providing transportation operate only from 04:00 to 06:00. Because of the military regulations requiring entry only through the “workers checkpoints,” people who live far away, like ‘Azzun ‘Atma, also arrive at this checkpoint.
-There are, in fact, Israeli employers who are only “virtual contractors,” who charge those seeking to work in Israel a monthly fee and provide them with a permit, but don’t themselves employ them.
-The complaints about inspection deal with being forced to partially undress, and we can see many people putting their upper garments and belts back on as they hurry along the exit lane from the inspection facility in order to reach their ride to work.