Natanya G., Ina F. (reporting)


When we arrived - shortly after 6:00 - the lines did not overflow into the area beyond the roofed-over space of the CP. The atmosphere was peaceful and the pace was reasonable. People on line told us that the situation was similar during the first two days of the week. The Matak officer had opened the Humanitarian gate before we arrived but detained the passers-through for a few minutes in a small yard and requested that they repeat the passage procedure and enter through the pens. He explained to us that there was a problem with the electricity and the turnstile could not be accessed from the inner yard. As customary, those on line allowed the women and the elderly to pass them by.

We had expected to see anxiety at the CP, even hostility towards us as Israelis, but no, nothing of the sort was apparent. Two of our "steadies" approached us for a chat. The girl soldier operating the turnstile came over to inquire about our presence and we began to explain. Once we realized that she was hostile we discontinued - We certainly would not take blame for the neglect of her duties and were surprised that the policeman in charge did not bother to reprove her.

We left at 6:55 - the pens were empty and there was easy access.