Al Jib (Givat Zeev), Hashmonaim (Ni'ilin), Makkabim (Beit Sira)
05:00 The entire area checkpoint area is bustling, filled with people and vehicles. We understood the checkpoint had been open since 04:00
A few groups of laborers by the roadside and in the parking lot try to warm themselves around small bonfires, waiting for their rides. We couldn’t park in the lot; we were sent to park on the road.
An endless flow of people, this time from the main road rather than from the rear plaza where we’d met people exiting during my previous shift here. They explained there’d be an incident, which is why everyone leaves through here. A pleasant security person told us that entry to the inspection stations is from the road, on the other side of the checkpoint. A narrow path descends to the entry plaza. He asked us to be sure to walk on the sidewalk, not on the road. There, too, was an endless flow of Palestinians who apparently arrived on foot from nearby. A local entrepreneur had laid out his wares under an olive tree. We saw groups of laborers in the plaza below arriving in vehicles.
There was a short line to enter the facility; we went in without waiting. We were asked (in Arabic) to place our bags and coats for inspection, and were sent (again in Arabic) to the document inspection station (not to the palm-prints). We waited on line for a minute or two; we saw through a glass partition the inspection chamber that people feared. About ten people were waiting in the room, which was also glass-paneled – four who’d gone through inspection, one being inspected lifting his arms a number of times. When he came out of the chamber all exited the room. The rest were inspected more quickly. We handed our IDs to the person checking them, like everyone else; they were carefully inspected with a small device. No one asked us anything. We exited along with the others. The entire process took less than ten minutes.
05:40 We decided to go to Jib. Ronny P. was to meet us there but the conditions at Qalandiya were difficult; the gates had just opened.
05:50 Makkabim. We didn’t stop; the line reached the concrete cubes at the stairs (part of the preparations for the bridge).
06:00 Jib checkpoint is located behind the gas station on the east side of Highway 436 (which connects Highway 431, opposite the Ofer prison, with Highway 1). Laborers from surrounding villages who have permits, and even some from Ramallah, go through here to work in Giv’at Ze’ev and other settlements that were established on their lands.
The area seemed deserted as we came from the gas station. After a while a Palestinian emerged, then another… We entered the narrow path bordered by high metal mesh fences. A few Palestinians began to leave along the adjacent path. One spoke Hebrew well; he works in Giv’at Ze’ev. We accompanied him to the road. He lives far away; he says he spends almost two hours at the checkpoint every morning.
We went back toward where Palestinians enter for inspection. About 25 people stood between the building and the revolving gates. The line didn’t move. After about five minutes three Palestinians entered the inspection building; again a long wait. A group of Palestinians waited beyond the revolving gate – quietly, patiently. After almost 20 minutes the area had emptied and a new group tried to enter, but as soon as the first five went in they were ordered to go back past the revolving gate. After a while they were allowed to proceed, but only in small groups. Meanwhile we’d gone through the revolving gate in the opposite direction. A group of some 60 people waited between the metal mesh fences near the revolving gate, including many women employed in the sewing factory in Pisgat Ze’ev. Then there was a large gap; as we continued we saw about 100 more men and women waiting. When we asked why they weren’t moving forward they told us it wasn’t permitted. Under the curved roof, and beyond, another 100 people are waiting, not moving forward, though you might not be able to see that in the photo. We now understood that the man who said he waited two hours wasn’t exaggerating.
You can clearly see the gap between the groups.
07:00 We left. It might have been more difficult to see the dozens of women and men standing quietly, not advancing, than to witness the yelling and confusion we sometimes see at other checkpoints.
07:10 Makkabim We saw no line.