Carousels (turnstiles) | Machsomwatch
אורנית, מהצד הזה של הגדר

Carousels (turnstiles)

The Hebrew term for the turnstiles harks back to the children's playground… Palestinians negotiating the checkpoints must walk 'wahad, wahad' (one at a time) through the turnstile on their way to the other side. The turnstile's revolutions are remotely controlled by a soldier standing some ten metres away. In some checkpoints there are two turnstiles to be negotiated one after the other. Use of the turnstiles facilitates the limiting of contact between the soldiers and the `potentially hostile' population. The width of each wing of the turnstile is less than 60 centimetres (the turnstiles were specially made for the Palestinian population). This should be compared with the 80 centimetres and more that is the width of similar turnstiles in the State of Israel. Completely omitted from consideration here is the fact that people going through the checkpoints are often encumbered by suitcases and large packages, and some of them are stout, or are mothers carrying small children in their arms. The turnstiles frequently get stuck with people caught inside them. In such cases, the burning desire to get out of the checkpoint as fast as possible creates enormous pressure and crowding, tempers flare and patience quickly gets exhausted so that men and women, the elderly, babes in arms, children and the crippled are all crushed up against the metal bars and the turnstile becomes a cruel trap (q.v. 'animals').