“Just so they don’t show up at the last minute” declares the sergeant prior to 07:45.
R., from the DCL, also uses this excuse. We respond it’s unacceptable to punish people who have permits and are at the checkpoint at this hour but haven’t yet gone through, when the soldiers who operate it are themselves late (The checkpoint, which was supposed to open at 06:25, opened 15 minutes late). R. was convinced and said she’d look into it. And S., who was on site, said he’d try and at 08:00 even said they’d open again in fifteen minutes. But, unsurprisingly, the checkpoint remained closed and whoever was able to cross through the Eliyahu checkpoint went there. Others returned to whence they came. Arbitrariness? Simple indifference? Or perhaps the maintenance and cultivation of the system of control over a conquered population, as described by Yael Barda in her work on the bureaucracy of occupation? ( http://www.haaretz.co.il/magazine/.premium-1.2620217)
The apparatus of pretexts employed to explain the constant delays in opening the checkpoint in the morning fits well into the network of regulations and orders and their implementation. If, thus far, we’ve usually been told that “the tracker was late,” this time the excuse was “rocks were thrown at the fence.” Another practice we learned of today is increasing the number of people granted permits to cross through the checkpoint while at the same time reducing the length of time it’s open and, in addition, making the soldiers in charge of this checkpoint responsible for additional gates in the fence. Thus, a delay at one checkpoint leads to a longer delay at another CP