Eyal, Sun 3.5.09, Morning
04:45 – We hear the following things
from the people at the checkpoint: The passage opened at 04:00. Four posts are
manned and one doesn't work.
04:55 – The turnstile is closed. People
surge forward and shouts are heard. There is a jeep on the other side
of the fence, near the turnstile. A soldier calls the people over a
loudspeaker to enter one by one, as in this way everything will go faster.
During the 4 minutes that the turnstile
is open, 50 people pass. Then it is closed again for 4 minutes.
A soldier, the battalion commander, as
it turns out, enters to establish order.
Another 3 minutes of open turnstile and
100 people pass. After 1 minute of being closed, it is again open for
3 minutes and 100 people pass.
The battalion commander, Doron, has tried
to establish order but in a talk we have he admits that the bottleneck
at the passage is the number of inspection posts and at the moment they
don't have the technological equipment for 4 additional posts.
He lets a sick boy and 10 women who couldn't
push in enter through another gate.
Jami, from the International Volunteers,
calls to tell us that a little after 04:00 in the morning soldiers entered
the Palestinian side with their weapons and scared away the people.
Some of them left the place. Yael, another volunteer who was with him,
counted them using a meter (good idea).
Between 04:00 and 05:30, 1263 people
were counted by her, and 2270 in the two and a half hours, from 04:00
to 06:30. At this stage, a few hundreds of them are still here, some
of them are older people who couldn't push in and have been waiting
here for hours.
Some of the people vent their frustration
on us, who "are walking around with cameras and notes and not helping
A remark: When we passed to the other
side, we saw 3 MachsomWatch women and the military commander was quite