Virginia S., Ina Friedman (reporting)

Relatively light foot traffic

When we arrived at the checkpoint at 5:30 a.m., the shed was effectively deserted. The turnstile of the far-right  “cage” was open to all comers, and the lines before the checking stations moved swiftly. It was not until 5:55 that the soldier in the “aquarium” closed the turnstile and two lines began to form, but they never reached beyond the entrance to the shed, and so the situation remained throughout the morning “rush hour.

The Humanitarian Gate was not opened at all. At 6:35 the Civil Administration soldier in charge of the gate arrived but never opened the gate, even when women and men eligible to use the gate lined up before it. At 6:40 we tried to get her attention to open the gate for a woman with an infant but neither she nor the policeman and policewoman nor the security guard all present on the other side of the bars would speak with us (that is, totally ignored our requests to talk with them). Instead the four were all talking to one another or starting at their cell phones. At 7:00 when a number of people lined up at the Humanitarian Gate, because they saw the soldier was there and assumed she was there to operate the gate, she was aware of their presence (i.e., saw them) but let them wait there for 4-5 minutes before she deigned to tell that she did not intend to open the gate. So the reason for her presence there at all remained a mystery.

At 7:10, when the cages had emptied out, we got on line and, because of a considerable delay to enter the checking station, left the checkpoint at 7:33.