Hashmonaim (Ni'ilin), Makkabim (Beit Sira)
A calm morning at the Ni’ilin and Beit Sira checkpoints.
We arrived at the Ni’ilin checkpoint (also known as the Hashmonaim crossing) at approximately 05:40. We drove through the checkpoint and parked a little beyond, by the roadside. We crossed the road and stood at the location where people jump over the safety railing and descend a dirt path toward the checkpoint. At that spot food stands wait for them on the other side of the safety railing. Below, on the road from Ni’ilin, there are also stands.
The line today appears shorter than usual and also advances rapidly. We chose a man whose clothing was easy to identify in order to see how long it took him to cross. We turned around and went through the vehicle crossing quickly.
On the Israeli side there’s tumult as usual. Many cars around the plaza and in the parking lot, primarily buses and minibuses transporting workers. The place is bustling. The public bathrooms are open. While we waited for “our” guy, we spoke with H., whom we know from previous visits, and with other people. “Our” guy arrived in fewer than twenty minutes.
Beit Sira checkpoint
We arrived slightly past 06:00 and parked by the roadside, facing Modi’in. There are many transport vehicles in the parking lot, as usual, mostly vans arriving to pick up workers. People say everything’s ok. We meet a woman waiting for transportation to Rishon Letzion. It’s rare to see women at this checkpoint early in the morning, usually only a few, if any. We left after a short time.