Eyal Crossing, יום א' 3.10.10, בוקר

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מקום או מחסום: 
צופות ומדווחות: 
Mickey F. and Deborah L.
If one is just observing this checkpoint without any previous knowledge one sees an orderly flow of young and middle aged men leaving a terminal and heading for a parking lot .  In the parking lot minibus drivers are trying to catch passengers in order to take them to such places as the intersection called Ga'ah,  Kfar Saba,  Petach Tikva, etc.  Hundreds of the men are sitting low on the curb of the road; or off in small groups in the parking lot; or standing near a small coffee bar or, if it is

. before sunrise, in large and small groups praying. Private cars come to pick up men as well
As Israeli citizens we cannot enter the terminal nor are we allowed to see the Palestinian side where thousands wait in line. It is the stories behind the scenes that make you understand the desperation of these men seeking to make a meager living in Israel from whatever work is available.

After arising early and leaving their homes these workers make their way to Eyal . It can be from as close as Qalkilyia or as far off as the Jordan Valley . When they arrive at Eyal they wait in line with thousands of others (4,000 people entered the terminal today from 04:00 – 06:00). The wait in line just to enter the terminal is about 45 minutes and then once in the terminal the wait can be from thirty minutes to an hour. Once out of the terminal there is the wait for a ride to work and the ride itself. Before even starting to work , they have already put in 4 hours of their day. Then starts the 8 hours or more of hard labor at work, and then finally the long way home. This happens day after day for the lucky cases where the person actually is allowed a permit and has work.

Here are some specific examples from today of times people left their homes and made their way through the checkpoint:
A man who left his home in Nablus at 03:00 started waiting in line at 04:00 and left the terminal at 05:45.
A man who left his home in Jayyus at 03:30 started waiting in line at 03:45 and left the terminal at 05:15.A man who left  his home in Sanniriya at 04:30 started waiting in line at 04:45 and left the terminal at 06:00.
We were told by the Ecumenical Accompanier who was on the Palestinian side that the  waitin line today outside the terminal was relatively calm although long because there were men from the Palestinian Workers Union who watched the lines and they are backed by the Palestinian Police. Last year when we could still stand on the Palestinian side there was often total chaos with people pushing and shoving, climbing on each other, and shouting trying to vie for a place in line.From what the Palestinians tell us, there is terrible tension inside the terminal because the lines move slowly and there is a feeling of disrespect and unnecessary checking. One day may be fine and the next they may be held up in one of the "rooms" for an hour. The "room" refers to where an extra check is required and that is done randomly.  The Palestinians say, "We have already gone through careful screening just to get our magnetic cards and permits to work in Israel. We have already proven ourselves. Why this day after day humiliation?"