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

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Miriam Shayish, Ronit Dehan-Ramati (reporting)

Na’alin CP

At approximately 05:30  we arrived at the Na’alin CP, which is also called the “Hashmona’im Crossing”. It was already dawn, but the whole region was clad in mist. We passed at the CP with our vehicle and parked at the side of the road, at a small distance from it. We crossed the road and stood where people skip over the security fence and descend by the dirt road in the direction of the checkpoint. Usually, at this point ,there are food stalls awaiting them beyond the security fence as well as on the road from Na’alin. Now, because of the Ramadan, there are no stalls. But on the other hand, the garbage is all over. The queue extends from the CP building almost to the point where people come down from the road above and others arrive from the direction of Na’alin. We chose two men who wore conspicuous attire, in order to check how long it would take them to cross, and returned to our vehicles.

The girl who was doing the checking at the Vehicle CP had already heard about the “Wash CP” as she called it. She performed a meticulous check of the vehicles (with gloves on her hands) and then we were allowed to pass and parked at the Israeli side. Here the tumult was great. Around the square and at the parking lot there were many cars, especially buses and minibuses which transport the workers to their workplaces. We advanced to the exit from the CP. The toilets booth was open for the public. People were coming out in a steady flow.  The kiosk was open, but was wrapped all around in a blue sheet to hide the food and those who do drink or eat, out of sight from those fasting.

From the place where we stood we could see one of the checking posts and it seemed that the checking proceeded rather slowly. Our men passed after 18  and 21 minutes. A driver of a transportation vehicle announced his destinations: Rishon, Rehovot, the Bilu junction. We inquired: a drive to the Bilu junction costs 20 shekel.

Beit Sira CP

We returned to the vehicles and drove in the direction of Beit Sira (Maccabim). We parked along the road in the direction of Modi’in and went down. It was a bit after six o’clock. Along the road there were many vehicles awaiting workers and workers awaiting their transportation. At first it seemed that the parking lot was emptier than usual, but very quickly it filled up. Here too blue sheets were covering the kiosk, and whoever chose to eat or drink did it under their cover. There was a sparse but continuous flow of people on the bridge overflying road no. 443 from Beit Sira. We chose a man, conspicuously dressed, who arrived from the direction of Saffa and Beit U’r Altahta. We went to wait at the exit from the CP to see how long it would take him to pass. One of the people coming out complained that they were delayed for no reason inside and claimed that it took him half an hour to pass. “Our” man passed within 13 minutes, which is a relatively long time for this CP. A cloud of humidity encompassed the whole region. Not pleasant but it did cool the oppressive heat a bit and made it easier for those who fasted.

We left.