A relatively light morning
All five checking stations were open when we arrived at 5:30 and the lines barely reached the kerb of the parking lot – and so the situation remained for most of the morning. The soldier opening the turnstiles at the end of the three “cages” let a large number of people through each time she opened them, so that the lines leading to the checking stations were long, but for the best because, as we have written before, the shorter the lines going through the cages, the lower the tension at the checkpoint.
The police barricades in the space between the exits from the cages and the lines leading into the checking stations are still in place. Erected to regulate the heavy traffic during Ramadan Fridays, they lengthen the route by as much as 200%, and it’s not clear why they have not been taken down – unless it’s to provide an opportunity for morning exercise.
At 6:15, when the Humanitarian Gate had not yet opened, we called the DCO to find out why and were told that the soldier is on her way. The gate opened at 6:24 and the soldier left (i.e., the gate was closed) at 6:48.
We joined a line at 7:05, when the cages were half empty, and left the checkpoint about 12 minutes later.