Hashmonaim (Ni'ilin), Makkabim (Beit Sira)
05:40, Na'alin (Hashmonaim) CP
We prove past the CP and parked a little beyond. Across the road people are jumping the security fence and going down the path towards the CP. There are food stalls around.
The Queue from the CP winds all the way to the yellow bar blocking vehicle passage. Ther queue seems orderly and fast enough.
At the vehicle checking point (operated by a civilian firm) we are asked where we’ve come from. Our explanation is accepted, and we are allowed through. There are many vehicles on the bustling other side - minivans, buses, and private cars. For a change, the toilets are open. People complain about the crowding today. There is much shoving, and the checkers are not fast enough. This happens inside, out of our sight. Some fellow begins a tirade in Arabic. A friend summarizes: Shit!
A man whose passage we timed got through in 25 minutes - more than usual. A guyt speaking English addresses us. He is back after some years spent in the US, and he now drives a car for a living. He says he’s come especially to meet the caring MW women, of whom he has heard, and wishes us a happy Valentine's day.
Beit Sira CP, 06:30
We park at the end of a long line of cars waiting for workers. As usual the parking lot is full, mainly with such pickups. People report that passage is fine. Nearby is a shed where people await their rides. It is equipped with a soft drink machine, and a young female coffee vendor. The toilets have 4 stalls and running water outside. We notice cars with Israeli liscence plates parked on the Palestinian side, and are told these are disabled cars, to be dismantled for usuable parts.
We wonder at the difference between the two CPs. Naa'lin is so problematic, Beit Sira so relaxed. Is it the people who pass - or the operators?