Hashmonaim (Ni'ilin), Makkabim (Beit Sira)
At 5:20 approximately we arrived at the Na’alin CP. We crossed the road and stood near the spot where people jump over the security fence and walk by the dirt road in the direction of the checkpoint. It was very cold. We saw that the passageway to the CP has changed to winter mode: a shed had been built, a fire burned and there were a few food stalls in front of the checkpoint.
This time the queue at the entrance to the CP was not long. We chose a man wearing conspicuous clothes, to check how long it would take him to pass, and returned to the car. We then passed the CP to the other side.
We advanced to the pedestrians exit of the security check. There were lots of people there at this early morning hour. The traffic at the CP had no special stops or delays. In spite of this it took our man more than 20 minutes to cross the few meters from the entrance to the CP and then to the exit from it.
Perhaps because of the cold, this time we saw very clearly how difficult it must be for the old people to stand in line and and wait for a car to transport them. Wrapped in coats, they walked around only to get warm and prayed the morning prayer on the cold ground. The hardship was even clearer than at former visits to the same checkpoint.
Beit Sira CP
We returned to the vehicles and drove in the direction of the Beit Sira (Maccabim) CP. We parked along the road in the direction of Modi’in and left the cars. The time was nearly 06:00. Many cars were parked along the road, some in double parking, waiting for workers, and many workers, waiting for their transportation. The cold was extreme and people huddled inside their coats. Here too we chose a man dressed conspicuously to be able to estimate how long it would take him to cross the checkpoint. It took him just over 15 minutes to pass. We then left.