Eyal, Tue 17.6.08, Morning
For the past 2 weeks there were a lot of complaints from Palestinians about being late to work because of the excessive waiting at the Eyal CP. Although we were told there was a slight improvement in the last two days, we went to check for ourselves.
At 4:43AM there was a very long line of Palestinians. They stood from the turnstile at the entrance till beyond the yellow gate which separates the parking area from the area most adjacent to the terminal. We could see about 300 people.
From that time until 4:58AM , the turnstile would open letting from 14 to 26 people in and then the turnstile would lock for about 5 to 25 seconds. About 350 people passed through in 15 minutes.
From 4:58AM –5:07AM the turnstile locked and as the minutes passed, the Palestinians started to argue with each other and the pressure mounted. Mickey called the Matak. If we take into account the number of people that can pass in 12 minutes, which is about 280 people, you can imagine the frustration of having to wait.
From 5:07AM –5:20AM two hundred and sixty people passed through (from 19 to 71 people passed through at any one time with short breaks of 15 to 41 seconds).
There was another large break from 5:20AM until 5:32AM . During this break the amount of people behind the yellow gate grew denser and denser. Mickey once again complained to the Matak.
At 5:32AM until 5:44AM the turnstile was opened with from 59 to as many as 341(!) allowed in at one time with short breaks of 9 to 35 seconds.
At 5:44AM to 5:52AM there was another long break and arguing between the Palestinians waiting behind the yellow gate began. At 5:52AM one hundred and forty eight people were let in at once and that eliminated the pressure behind the yellow gate.
From 5:52AM until we left at 6:16AM, 30 to 150 passed through the turnstile at any one time with breaks of 12 to 30 seconds. At 6:16AM there was no line left.
We calculated an average that about 25 people passed through a minute. This means that between 4:43AM and 6:16AM (about an hour and a half) about 2000 people passed through. This was certainly better then what had been happening in the last few weeks. We did notice, however, that the people we spoke to in the pick up area were very nervous. Perhaps because they never know when it will be a good or bad day or when a good period may only be followed by yet another difficult one.