Makkabim (Beit Sira), Thu 24.10.13, Morning
4:44 – 7:00
About 80 people are waiting for the checkpoint to open. It opened on time (5 am) and this time with a greeting ”Good morning, the checkpoint is open.”
We went inside the structure; this time there was no shouting from the speakers and we even heard an occasional “please” when addressing the workers. But according to security personnel, the x-ray machine in one position was broken and thus only one of two positions was open. A long line of embittered, waiting people began to form. After about 20 minutes, the second position began to open, without an x-ray machine and allowed only those without baggage or those carrying small bags to pass through. Of course the inspection at this position moved very slowly and naturally they didn’t inform the people that this was a line for those without bags. And so there were people waiting for lengthy periods in the “broken machine” line and once they got to the inspection point, they were told to return back to the other linem and of course they also had to push to go outside via the turnstile, against the current, and once again stand in the long line which had a working inspection device. In some cases the inspector decided that certain shoes weren’t acceptable or that the large nylon bag was too big and these people also had to return to the line with a functioning machine.
Shelly volunteered to stand at the front of the line and explain to people with bags to move to the line with the functioning x-ray machine so they wouldn’t have to wait for no reason, but the whole scene was a total mess with lots of bitterness. Who can we turn to (in real time or later on) to report when a machine is broken?
Shelly gave Sylvia’s contact details to a man whose brother is “General Security Services Prohibited. Many of the workers speak Hebrew and greeted us with a “Good morning” but also with lots of complaints about the treatment at these transit points. Some suggested that we come every day since that way things moved faster but others claimed that because of our presence they delay them purposely. One reminded us that we all have one G-d.
We estimate that in the two hours we were there over 1,000 people passed through. Passage took about 30-40 minutes.