'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Te'enim Crossing, Tue 29.9.09, Afternoon

Bruria R, Dvorka O (reporting) Translator: Charles K.


2:45  Deir Sharaf (Barrels checkpoint) – 3 soldiers under the canopy, not stopping cars. 

3:00  Anabta – No soldiers on the road. 

3:10  Te’enim – About ten cars of Israeli Arabs (not covered by the Law of Return) waiting to cross. 

3:20  Irtach – Dozens of laborers approached us while we were there, saying:  Why aren’t you here in the morning?!  Why weren’t you here in the morning?  Today, for example, it was a real mess, and people came to blows.  We arrive between 04:00 and 05:00, and get through only at 07:00-07:30.  Everyone was late for work today.  Until people became disorderly the crossing didn’t open.  It was opened only after the whole area was full of people who began pushing and shouting.  Only two lanes were open, and only six of the sixteen booths.  They open the crossing only when people start shouting and the confusion begins.  Laborers in every group arriving at the checkpoint repeated these complaints.  Many asked us to report on this unbearable situation. 

No booth was open when we arrived, even though some laborers already waited at the turnstile.  We called out to whoever was willing to listen that they should open the crossing, and one booth opened.  When the line lengthened we complained to the guard in the courtyard who said (obviously unwillingly) that he’d notify someone, and in fact a second booth opened, but not for long.  It closed as soon as the line got shorter, and only one booth remained open. 

4:15  The line numbered more than 100 people.  Only one booth was open, then a second, but a long line still waited.  We called the humanitarian office, first to report the serious complaints about how the checkpoint was run in the morning, and we also asked them to put pressure on the checkpoint to open more than two booths during the busy time around 4 PM.  Tal answered, and we were told that she immediately spoke to people at the checkpoint (So what?). 

4:40  A very sparse number of people coming through the Eyal crossing, without delays. 

Hamdan’s experience at the crossings from Nablus and Ramallah to Area B and to Israel:  During the ride he told us that Israeli Palestinians returning to Israel from cities on the West Bank don’t have it at all easy, but are subject to many inspections and delays.  The day before ‘Id el Fitr, an hour before the fast ended, when he came from Nablus to Area B via the old crossing at Beit Iba, he saw that people had to leave their cars and stand with their backs to the road while their vehicles were inspected.  On Wednesday, 23 September, when he returned from Ramallah with friends via the Qalandiya checkpoint, upon reaching the crossing point to the road to Rosh Ha’Ayin (apparently Route 445), his Israeli friends had to get out of his vehicle and he, the driver, had to wait a whole hour for them until their inspection was over.