Hashmonaim, Makkabim (Beit Sira)
Makkabim: We reached the CP at 5:15 (it opens at 5:00). The parking lot was crowded with vehicles awaiting the Palestinian workmen. There was a constant flow of people at the CP - waiting their turn to be checked. We got into line and found that at 5:20 we had reached the first turnstile. Two checking-posts were operating and we took the right-hand one. There are two stages of checking: 1. The passers-through are required to submit the green (identity) card and then await its return. At the same time their coats and bags are x-rayed .One of the Palestinians complained about the need to stand coatless in the morning frost! He suggested that the "gate" be crossed with coat on and only when the x-ray detected a fault and sounded its warning would the matter be attended to. 2. Biometric check and photo check of green card. The examination was completed quietly and efficiently.
5:32: We were back at the parking lot and reached Hashmona'im CP at 5:50. Large crowd and many vehicles. Constant flow of Palestinians exiting the checking posts. Our friend at the cafeteria confirmed that nothing extraordinary had occurred today. He did mention that a few days ago a Palestinian was delayed and missed medical treatment. At the parking lot two (out of four) toilets were operating, the lights were on and the general appearance was clean.