Hashmonaim (Ni'ilin), Makkabim (Beit Sira)
05:30 Morning, Makkabim checkpoint. At first glance there doesn’t seem to be so many vehicles, and a sparse flow of people emerges from the inspection area. The driver of a bus with a flat tire went to find a spare; two men on their way to work in a food manufacturing plant stand next to it. They have only good things to say about the checkpoint. No complaints, almost no delays, particularly in comparison to other checkpoints; one of them says he’s very familiar with Atarot and with Ni’ilin. The situation is slightly different at the entrance to the inspection area. A pretty long line stretches almost to the sidewalk, but moves forward.
Two women arrive, on their way to work. They bypass the line, reach the entrance to the fenced area leading to the entry lane, but have to wait there crowded among the men. As far as we know, there’s no humanitarian lane at Makkabim. We’ll find out next time.
06:00 Ni’ilin. The parking lot is bustling – cars, people streaming toward them. We asked people what it’s like here; they say the staff is working efficiently and things move quickly. They, also, compare it to Qalandiya and its problems. This time we heard no complaints about the body scanners.
Summing up: A routine day at the checkpoint. Unusually, there are no complaints; many even greet us with a smile and “good morning.” The Messiah has arrived.