Irtah - Dawn, wet routine

Edith M. and Varda Z.

Wet but routine

We arrived at 4:05, and a good number of people had already passed through the checkpoint and were on their way to the waiting vehicles. We saw many private cars in the parking lot as well as the usual vans. A row of cement barricades lined the front of the parking lot, possibly to keep people from slipping into the ditch between the lot and the road.

Very early the turnstiles began to open and close, keeping people in the roofed area until there was space for them to get into the main building. The first time we checked a woman passed through in eight minutes, men in 11-13 minutes. Around 5:00 it took a man 20 minutes.

A group of men, who decided not to go to work this rainy day, spoke to the guard on the Israeli side of the checkpoint, asking to go back. He arranged for one turnstile to spin backwards, his helpfulness is worthy of note.

We noticed a line of fence posts set in the ground along the path from the terminal to the parking lot. Later in the day I phoned Sharon the checkpoint's manager to ask what was planned. He said they're widening the fenced area to permit enlarging the staff dining room.