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Ina F. (reporting)

The checkpoint was fairly empty when we arrived at 6:15 together with a tour from a pre-military preparation program (led by a member of MachsomWatch). The turnstile at the end of one of the three narrow passages lined by bars (which everyone calls the "cages") turned freely, and all the new Palestinian arrivals were able to pass through it immediately into the area of the checking stations. The presence of the young tour participants at such an early hour drew attention, and both a Palestinian on his way to work and the DCO soldiers responsible for the Humanitarian Gate agreed to talk to them and answer their questions. At our suggestion, many of them entered and stood for a while in the two empty “cages,” to get a partial sense of what it’s like to pass through the checkpoint. The turnstile at the end of the third “cage” was still turning freely when we left at 6:45.