Hashmonaim (Ni'ilin), Makkabim (Beit Sira)

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Miriam Shaish, Ronit Dahan-Ramati (reporting)


At approximately 5:35 we arrived at the Ni'ilin CP, also called "The Hashmonaim  Passage." We crossed the road and stood next to the spot where people jump over the security fence and descend by the dirt road in the direction of the CP. There, beyond the security fence,  food stalls await  them. Below, on the road that leads from Ni'ilin, there are stalls as well.

Usually there is a long queue that winds like a snake from the CP building and which often reaches the yellow barrier gate, which is down and blocks access to vehicles; near it are located the food and haberdashery  stalls below (the extensions of which are situated above, near the main road leading to the CP). Today we saw a large group of people near the entrance to the CP, but not the long winding queue. On the other hand there were people who remained above and did not approach the CP, and others who seemed to be returning. They said there was disorder; they let few people enter each time and there is some pushing.

Today too we saw G. from Beit Sira, who works in upper Modi'in. He operates a backhoe loader) In the past, he told us that during the week he leaves the loader in upper Modi'in, but during the weekend he takes it home with him, and then  must re-enter on Sunday by the Ni'ilin CP. The loader goes through and is checked at the vehicle CP (someone who holds an Israeli ID drives it) and G. goes through via the pedestrians' CP. We decided to check how much time it would take G. and another man with distinctive clothes to pass.

We turned around and passed by the CP. Around the square and at the parking lot there were many cars, mainly buses and minibuses that transport the workers. The people we talked with said  it had been problematic today and that it took them an hour to cross. When we arrived at the exit from the CP, though,  we saw that there was no longer a bottleneck.

We talked with a young man, an Israeli Arab who therefore passed by the vehicle CP but who had come here to meet his friends and his employer. We directed him to the Kav La'Oved organization, hoping that they would be able to assist him with a disability pension from the National Security Institute.

We saw that it took G. and the other man we were following 20-25 minutes to cross the CP.

Beit Sira:

We arrived at about 6:20. We parked along the road in the direction of Modi'in, at the end of a long queue of cars that had come to collect workers. As usual there were many vehicles at the parking lot, mainly "transits" that came to collect the workers. We were told that the passage was definitely OK. We left after a short time.