Habla Checkpoint (1393)
Opening hours: 6:30-8:00
The soldiers were again considerably late – arriving after 7:00, and the gate was opened at 7:25 (an hour's delay).
We arrived at 6:20. The gates were shut but many people - pedestrians and vehicles - were already waiting at the Habla side. We were told that on Sundays the gate would sometimes open at 7:00. The crowd grew and there were cars awaiting workers.
7:00: Nina called the Matak – "there was a delay and the soldiers were still at another gate".
7:20: The soldiers arrived, opened the gate – but not wide open… At the more distant gate we noticed that the people were organizing themselves in groups of five.
7:25: Crossing begins. A donkey-driven cart and a minibus carrying teachers on their way to school pass through after being checked by two soldiers. At the same time, the first group of five was on its way to the inspection shack. The soldiers tried to speed the pace and two checking stands operated.
7:33: The first fivesome exited the inspection shack, as well as individuals and vehicles, carts and cyclists.
7:40: Some scores had finally passed through although it still seemed crowded.
7:45: A highschool bus with students crossed over to Habla. The soldiers hastened the procedures and two checkposts operated.
7:55: Some 20-30 persons were still on line. About 150 had already crossed over, far more than the usual number.
7:57: Had to leave. Two youths asked for a lift to Jaljuliya. As they didn't have permits we woudln't take them beyond the seam-line