Shai and David (guests from Israel and the U.S.), Ina Friedman (reporting)

A standard morning (as of late)

Though it was a Sunday morning, when we arrived at 6:00 a.m. all five checking stations were open and there were no lines. The lines began to form beginning at 6:15 but did not extend beyond the shed at any point during the morning, even though checking stations 5 and then 3 closed for a number of minutes during the time we were there.

The DCO soldier was already there when we arrived and opened the Humanitarian Gate each time a group of people formed in front of it.

We quickly noticed that the Ramadan arrangement (that doubles the length of the walk or run from the exit from the cages to the lines entering the checking stations) was reinstituted after it had been cancelled the last time we were there. The benefit of this arrangement is unclear to us, beyond having people walk further early in the morning (for their health?).

We left the checkpoint at 7:00, by which time the lines had shortened considerably. Having parked on the northern side of the checkpoint, we did not go through the security check and drove through East Jerusalem quickly via the Hizmeh road, which was still free of traffic jams in August.