Due to the elections, today is holiday, and fewer laborers are crossing into Israel. The upper parking is full with people and vehicles. The crossing is fast (10 minutes) and quiet. 2 windows are open in the terminal.
Soldiers from the military police have opened a few gates at the checkpoint, but the main gate to the West Bank is still locked. This having been the situation in the last few days, at 7:05 when the school principal and two female teachers arrive, they don't wait but drive on to the checkpoint at Reihan. About 40 children enter the checkpoint where they start playing. There are also 5 students on their way to the university in Jenin. Both we and the soldiers from the military police call the DCO a few times, getting the answer: "They will open".
7:30 The big children try to organize a demonstration and send the children home but without success. The children are running around all over the checkpoint.
7:35 At last, two soldiers with the key to the main gate, arrive. They open it and all the children cross.
7:40 The teachers are the first to pass through into the seamline zone. Two of them are coming with us to Um-Reihan and will reach school just in time. Vehicles start crossing in both directions. Workers pass through the check posts and enter the seamline zone at a very slow pace: "The computer is tired".
Yesterday the checkpoint also opened very late. We are told that the person in charge from the DCO has been replaced and the rules have changed.
Every day, next to the gate, a man from Um-Reihan prepares sandwiches for the school children. In order to pass the required amount of pita breads (24) across, he has to get renewed permission from the DCO every day or he can ask each one of a number of people to bring a single pita bread through .
8:00 Two more soldiers arrive and we hope that the crossing will be faster.