Chana Stein (reporting), Deborah L. (visitor volunteer)

05.20. When we arrived there were lines extending well beyond the shed, and quite long lines at each of the 4 checking stations open.  The fifth station opened only at 6.40 (with a loud announcement). Progress was reasonable, though, the soldier in the aquarium being attentive.  Soon, the lines were almost always contained within the shed.

The humanitarian gate opened at 6.15, by which time about six people had gathered there.  The D.C.O. pair of soldiers seemed very inexperienced and it was thanks to a capable guard that it was run efficiently.  For some reason the guard also came out to check the waiting lines, but quickly returned to his protected area. He sometimes spoke to people waiting in the cages and would turn around and speak with soldier, (giving instructions to operate the turnstiles?) It was unusual to see the window of the aquarium open.

At 6.50 we joined one of the lines, well within a cage – and when we got through we saw that all the cages were empty. While waiting in line for the checking station,though, we did notice that a few people had gathered in one of the cages and were waiting to go through. The humanitarian gate was closed at that stage, when there was really no need for it.

By 7.05 we were boarding our bus to town.