Arrived at 5:25. The parking area was still barred off. At the pay-parking lot - beyond the fruit and vegetable stalls - the attendants had prepared receipts charging 20 IS but accepted Gili and Yaara’s last-week agreement to charge us 10 IS.
At the CP within, all five booths were already operating. Long, though orderly lines had formed in front of the pens. Booths 4 and 5 had apparently been opened up shortly before we got there. People were already passing through Booth 5, but Booth 4 was stalling - though once a policewoman arrived, the line got moving.
Nearly 6:00 am, a soldier arrived to replace the one on duty in the aquarium. The soldier was new and unfamiliar and inquired - he asked those at the Humanitarian what it was about. They and we ourselves explained to him that it was a humanitarian gate, just about to open up. The signpost that had been put up recently was already missing. The policewoman confirmed both the issue of our presence as well as that of the ‘humanitarian’ gate. Also, instructed him on his duties in the aquarium and operated the turnstiles from time to time.
Shortly after 6am the ‘humanitarian’ officer arrived to open up the gate. We had met him some time ago during the Ramadan at the ‘hazetim’ (Olive, Ras Abu Sbeitan) CP, and he told us that he was normally a liaison officer working with intl orgs. Speaks Arabic and courteously checked passers-through, though only those that had the right to pass through. Others were directed to the regular lines.
At 6:30 the lines contracted considerably and we left. Since last week the traffic was heavily congested through Pisgat Zeev, we now took the course through the roundabout at Qalandiya. It took us 20 minutes to get through but traffic was normal and flowing.