Chana S., Ronit D. (reporting); Translation: Ayala S.
We arrived at the CP at around 5:15, after having parked on the Israeli side. All five checking posts were operating and there were no lines at this stage,with people passing through the turnstile at the edge of the pens.But at 5:25 two lines had already formed, later even three. The girl soldier in the "aquarium" opened only one turnstile and the other two were off. People roared their complaints - to no avail. We twice called the headquarters to plead to have the three turnstiles operating: "the commander's decision" was the reply. After some time the second turnstile was operating. A soldier came to say that the third turnstile was reserved for those who were rejected passage.We told him they could be returned through the "humanitarian" gate.
A couple - a man and a young girl were on their way to hospital. We explained to them that the humanitarian passage would be opened only at 6:00 and advised they join the line at the entrance to the pens, which they did.
At 5:50 the lines broke up and disorder reigned. Turnstile 3 was on and off intermittently. Only later,when it was finally reopened for good, had the line settled. At 6:00 people were already waiting at the humanitarian gate. Two policemen were there, including M.who began opening the line. Policeman M. announced that the elderly, lacking permits, would be able to get through only at 8:00. A couple complained that they had an appointment at the hospital at 8:00 - how would they make it on time.
At 6:10 a Matak officer arrived and he and a policeman took turns operating the the humanitarian gate.They tried to control those pushing on line. The lines were orderly but very long, flowing into the parking area. At 6:35 Counter 4 was suddenly closed off. The lines were long until 7:00. Only by 7:10 the lines became shorter. Those due to wait until 8:00 were not enabled to join the lines any earlier.
We joined the lines and crossed through within quarter of an hour. A person behind us on line had a metal crutch and the soldier would not let him through as he had no permit. "I'm 55 and do not need a permit" he said. "No", she said, "your birthday is next month!" and she refused to let him through.