Hashmonaim (Ni'ilin), Makkabim (Beit Sira)
A quiet morning at Ni’ilin checkpoint ,and crowding at Beit Sira.
We arrived at about 05:40. It’s already light. We drove through the checkpoint and parked just beyond, by the roadside. We crossed the road and stood where people jump over the guard rail and go down the path to the checkpoint. There are food stands on the other side of the guard rail. There are stands also down below, on the road from Ni’ilin. Something new this time - a pastry stand on the way down, in addition to those along the road.
The line appears orderly today and advances at a reasonable pace. We picked a man we’d be able to recognize to see how long it takes him to go through. We turned around and went quickly through the vehicle checkpoint.
The usual commotion on the Israeli side. Many vehicles at the plaza and in the parking lot, primarily buses and minibuses transporting workers. The place is bustling with people. The bathrooms are closed. One door is blocked by a metal bar and a lock. While we waited for “our” guy to come through we talked to H., whom we know from previous visits, and to other people. “Our” guy arrived after about 15 minutes.
We arrived slightly after 06:00 and parked on the road, facing Modi’in. As usual, there are many transport vehicles in the parking lot, mostly minivans picking up workers. There seemed to be more people than usual on the pedestrian bridge over Highway 443 from Beit Sira. We chose another person from among those coming from Safa and Beit ‘Ur-a-That, to see how long it would take him to go through.
While I was waiting for him a security guard approaches us. He asks how we are and ensures we’re not photographing. We see reservists arriving and heading toward the vehicle checkpoint. People complain that only half the number of inspection booths is open today and that it takes a long time to cross. “Our” guy arrived after about twenty minutes,which, for this checkpoint, is considered a long time.