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

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Miriam Shayish (photographing), Ronit Dahan-Ramati (reporting)

Na’alin CP

After a long absence, due to travel and illnesses, we returned to the Na’alin CP. At 05:35 approximately we arrive at the checkpoint, also called the Hashmona'im Passage. We passed the CP in the car and parked on the side of the road, at a little distance from the CP. We crossed the road and stood near the point where people jump over the security fence and descend by the dirt path in the direction of the CP. It seems that the metalic mesh fence, behind the safety bannister, has been rennovated , but people of course tore an opening in the fence to be able to pass through and walk in the direction of the CP. Beyond the security fence food stalls await them, as well as at the bottom, on the road coming from Na’alin. It is a cool morning, and, fortunately, the rain that came down for most of the hours of the night had stopped. It seems the queues today are orderly and there is no special pressure. We picked a man who was dressed conspicuously, to check how long it would take him to pass. We passed by the vehicle CP and parked. We met a woman who transports sick people to the hospital on behalf of the non-profit organization “On the way to recovery”. We proceed towards the exit from the pedestrians’ CP. There was a hustle of cars and people. “Our” man passed after 20 minutes . Just as we returned, an armored IDF vehicle with soldiers, who probably were returnnig from the night activity, arrived. The soldiers unloaded equipment from the vehicle. The woman transporter is still waiting for the sick person, but has already established a phone connection with him.

The Beit Sira CP

We returned to the cars and drove in the direction of the Beit Sira (Macabim) CP. When we arrived the right lane was blocked, and soldiers with drawn weapons and and army vehicle were standing there. The blockage caused all the vehicles, which left the parking lot of the checkpoint area, to turn to a farther lane, thus disturbing the traffic from the vehicles’ CP. We parked along the road in the direction of Modi’in. By the time we advance by foot in the direction of the checkpoint, the IDF vehicle and the soldiers had left and the blocked lane was reopened.

Here too we picked a man in a conspicuous garment who who had come from the direction of Safa and Beit A’ur Altachta. He passed within five minutes. We noted our astonishment at the fact that in such a bad weather so many Palestinians don’t wear anything but sweatshirts or fleece garments, but no coats.

We returned to the cars and went on our way. Immediately after that it began again to rain again, and we thought about the many people who were now waiting outside, without protection.