Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Wed 11.1.12, Afternoon

Rachel B., Alix W. (reporting); Guests: Paula P, Aimee R.,

13:00 Habla

The weather was rainy when we arrived before 13:00 and there were already many more Palestinians waiting than usual for this time.  Several said that they had been waiting a couple of hours, probably got off work early because of the weather.  One young fellow told me that he lives only on the other side of the gate, pointing to his house, a few minute walk and he had to wait 2 hours.

The army jeep finally arrives at 13:15, by this time there were even more people, I must say that they were in good spirits and a very cheerful attitude.  There were several donkeys and carts transporting mattresses, blankets to beautiful flowers. The soldiers worked quickly and within 40 minutes most of the people had passed to either side of the gate.

There was a flow of vehicles on the road considering the weather, but not many military vehicles.

15:35 Irtah

As we approached the entrance to the terminal we saw the people entering through the terminal, I was surprised because the gate on the side is usually open in the afternoons so the people can walk directly out without being checked.  After several minutes a guard comes out of the facility and opens the outer gate so everyone can walk directly to the other side.  I inquired why it was closed before, he said because they have to check “a certain population”.  This was unclear to me, but the guard assured me that they know who this population is.