April 12, 2010, 6:30am, Habla Agricultural Gate (see map here – courtesy of Uri)
Israelis from Hod Hasharon or Kefar Sabba coming to buy plants at the nurseries along road 55, by Jaljulya, do not imagine that only a few hundred meters behind these nurseries there’s a terminal for Palestinians workers coming to work in Israel. When we arrived, at 6:30am, the gate was still closed. A large group of workers was waiting on the other side of the gate. Mostly men. 15 minutes later the Palestinians started crossing.
Only four workers at a time are allowed to stand between the gate and the turnstile. By now, the soldiers don’t need to guide them or order them. They are well-acquainted with the rules. Whenever the area by the turnstiles is clear, another group of four approaches, the other workers stand afar. If the get any closer, a soldier will approach to keep them away. The workers who’ve passed the inspection report: "the female soldier inside is stern. She’ll be asking us to take off our underwear next," and also – "this is the worst punishment".
The gate at Habla opens between 6:45am-7:45am, 11:15am-12:15pm and 4:45pm-5:45pm. The photos were taken on April 12, 2010, between 6:30am to 7:15am.
For a Hebrew version of this post, click here.