Gili K., Yaara R., Ayala S. (translator)
5:00-7:00 All the tills were functioning ,but the lines at the pens were building up. On the face of it, all seemed well. Nevertheless, there were occurrences of humiliating attitude towards those on line.
Toward 6:00 a number of people needing assistance were grouped at the 'humanitarian' gate - an elderly blind woman,walking with difficulty and accompanied by two women, a handicapped person accompanied by his two sons, and others.
There was no soldier in view and the blind woman, who could stand no longer, was led to the pens. We phoned the Matak several times and then the humanitarian office of the army, all to no avail.
At 6:45 the Matak officer arrived, again the rude person we had already encountered. He bluntly declared that he had the right not to open the humanitarian gate and he sets the rules: the video cameras had indicated that all was running smoothly and there was no need for the humanitarian gate (of course no one on line knew about this new set of rules and no one told them to pass through to the pens.) The officer took his time at the entrance and did not open his gate - apparently teaching us a lesson. At the same time the the needy waited and waited - the elderly, the handicapped, the kids and their teachers.
We again attempted to report this behaviour to the Matak but no authoritative person would listen to us. We weren't even able to find out the name of the girl-soldier at the Matak. Finally, the officer opened the gate!
Seemingly, this was a minor occurrence, delay and humiliating attitude at the 'humanitarian' gate, but actually this is evidence of the way a petty officer can disregard regulations and worsen the terms of those very people whose rights he was set to safeguard. Occasionally we notice people who really make an effort to be attentive to difficult situations but this cannot be taken for granted and a watchful eye is absolutely necessary to observe decent behaviour at the CPs.