Virginia Syvan, Ina Friedman (reporting)

An orderly if slightly slow morning

All five checking stations were open when we arrived at 5:30 a.m. and the lines reached only to the edge of the parking lot. The situation remained thus for most of the morning.

The DCO soldier in charge of the Humanitarian Gate arrived at 6:05, but the key to the gate had evidently been left behind, and the security guard who accompanied him returned to fetch it. Hence the gate was not opened until 6:15 and then again each time a group of people stood before it.

We noted that throughout the morning the lines never extended beyond the first line of cars in the parking lot, and the turnstiles opened regularly every few minutes

We joined one of the lines at 6:35, after seeing that the cages emptied out almost each time the turnstiles were opened. Nevertheless, it took us 35 minutes to reach and pass through the security check. We had the impression that a new group was working in the security check because the soldier to whom the first of us showed her identity card reacted in bewilderment, even after she held up her MachsomWatch badge, and he called his commander for directives. Perhaps this was the reason for the slow pace at the checking stations.

We exited the checkpoint at 7:10. The incident in which a knife-yielding Palestinian was shot to death near the vehicle checkpoint (or so we understood from the news) occurred more than two hours later.