05.15. Unusually, quite a few men were waiting outside on the Israeli side, presumably waiting for the bus. Perhaps this was because of the difference in clocks in the West Bank and in Israel?
Inside the shed there was quite a long line, although all 5 checking stations were open and there were few people waiting there. We noticed that the soldier operating the turnstiles was admitting only a few people at a time. Later, however, the situation improved (perhaps thanks to the replacement soldier) and then many entered each time – with the usual humiliating rush along the lanes, more nimble younger folk jumping over the barriers. Though workers kept coming, the lines remained more or less within the shed.
A guard arrived soon after 6 a.m. At that time a small group gathered at the humanitarian gate, including a young child. The guard, who obviously did not have a key, spoke to them. At 6.10 a D.C.O. officer arrived and opened the gate. Thereafter he opened the gate frequently until he left at 6.50. Fortunately, by that time the lines were quite short, so people arriving for the humanitarian gate did not have difficulty in joining them. As usual when conditions are quiet, women are politely allowed to fit into the entrance of the line nearest the soldier’s cubicle.
The tea kiosk has vanished from its site. According to the beigel seller, there are going to be some ‘repairs’ in its usual place and afterwards it will return.
We joined a line at 7.10 and were through within 15 minutes.