Makkabim (Beit Sira), Sun 10.11.13, Morning
We arrived at the checkpoint at 04:50. On our way to the inspection conveyer belt we stopped next to the kiosk where our friend told us that the checkpoint had opened at 04:12 – 12 minutes late. People were crossing quickly without any delays.
We crossed the checkpoint quickly to the entrance. There was no waiting line and whoever arrived went immediately to the inspection area. As we approached the inspection conveyer belt a woman security guard told us aggressively to go back. We couldn't go back because the turnstile goes in one direction only and we could not get out. There was nothing for us to do but to stand in front of the inspection point. We thought that the inspection crew would let us pass through the area, as they had done last time on October 27th, but after we had stood there for a quarter of an hour we heard the female security guard speaking on the loudspeaker, curtly issuing orders to people crossing the checkpoint. At one point she asked to see what was in someone's bag. When he showed her a jar of olives she ordered the man to leave the area and come back without the olives.
Since the crew ignored us completely and didn't let us pass through the inspection point, we left the checkpoint through the entrance and attempted to walk across through the nearby vehicle crossing. A soldier stopped us there, claiming that pedestrians were not allowed to cross there and told us to wait for the shift supervisor. He arrived 15 minutes later and explained that the checkpoint was designated for Palestinians only but that we could drive through the vehicle checkpoint without any delay. He would explain that to the soldiers. We complained about the rude inspection worker and he said he would look into it. Regarding the lack of restrooms at the checkpoint, he said that sewage pits had to be dug and that this would take another week. He also gave us his cell phone number and took Roni's number so that he could report to us about the construction of the restrooms. Two hours later he called us and reported that the civilian authorities were responsible for the restrooms and suggested that we contact them.
While he was talking to us a man arrived to train the inspection crew. We asked him why people were not allowed to bring olives across the checkpoint. He explained that for reasons he could not explain people were not allowed to bring olives or olive oil. Inspecting these items requires a lot of time and holds up everyone else. People are permitted to bring food for their own personal use, and he claimed that even this was forbidden at other checkpoints.
When we arrived at the checkpoint at 06:15 people complained to us that the checkpoint was crowded. One person complained about an inspection that had taken an hour and a half and that he had difficulty waiting in line, and another said it had taken him a half hour. The was a line in front of the turnstile and when people passed through it became crowded in front of the inspection point. We saw that it took one of the Palestinians 20 minutes to cross the checkpoint. There are restrooms at the checkpoint for Palestinians to use, and outside there are faucets and two sinks, but one of the sinks is not connected to the drainage system.