The checkpoint was open in both directions. The procedure: waiting outside the gates, five people enter the area between the fences at a time. They wait at the revolving gate until inspection of the previous five, in the inspection building, has been completed. Then they enter and exit a few minutes later. Those on bicycles stand them next to the path leading to the building. When they exit they give their ID to the soldier in the guard post adjoining the metal gate leading to the plant nurseries, pick up their bicycles and then their ID. The soldier rebukes those who fail to carry out the procedure automatically.
And if you think people have grown accustomed to the occupation and that it has become transparent also to those under occupation, that’s not the case. A man coming through the checkpoint addressed us in Hebrew, describing the occupation’s impact on social and economic life – high unemployment, and a rising divorce rate as a result of low incomes. “One day it will explode.”
While the checkpoint was open, a car with UN plates arrived carrying Palestinian women. A few minutes later a second car arrived, driven by a man. Both waited in vain and the checkpoint closed without them having crossed. People who’d gone through said the passengers in the UN cars came and waited for a permit, which the soldiers were to have received. It didn’t arrive (of course) by the time the checkpoint was to close.