Since 2001 we have observed dozens of army checkpoints on paved and unpaved roads in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and along the Separation Fence; Civil Administration offices which grant permits to Palestinians; and military courts trying Palestinian prisoners. We stand at the checkpoints observing the behavior of soldiers and Palestinians without interfering, intervening only when soldiers behave offensively to Palestinians. Then we try to speak to the soldiers themselves or telephone...
Beit El DCL, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 6.4.09, Afternoon
The District Coordination Offece serving the people of Ramallah and its environs.
Etzion DCL: in another 2 days, the Passover (Pesach) seder arrives, in another day and a half - theclosure. Who knows for how long, this time, except for those lucky ones who are Christian - and not `denied' by the Secret Service. They get permits, including sleeping over (sometimes) for one month in order to observe Easter and Good Friday with their relatives in Jerusalem or even in Israel.
According to the DCL we are talking about 10,000 permits.
Today there were some 30 persons who came with requests to get permits and did not understand why `everyone received it, except my wife' or `why didn't I get one - I am OK'.
A telephone call from us to the head of the DCL and he explained that there is a problem since the Palestinians asked for permits via several entry points (the same person requested a permit several times, at ceveral CPs) - and the permits are for one point of entry only. Last year permits got lost and there is no follow-up whose permit is suitable for which point of entry. This time the policy is to issue another permit, without having to make the Christians run back and forth from one CP to another (maybe because of the forthcoming visit of the pope?)
And then the head of the DCL told me (?!) to prepare a list of names and telephone numbers of the people who asked for permits in order that the DCL will be able to contact them. Within 5 minutes Nabuani called me again to tell me that I should not make a list. He will prepare the list since that is his job (and that is right).
Thereupon the soldier called those interested in permits to come forward. The Palestinians started pushing (not all but most of them) and moved toward the caroussel in order to enter fast to be registered and have their requests examined.
Three waited for the secret service and five waited for me.
13:00 PM, Beit El: a Passover (Pesach) ceremony was held at Beit El and only one new female soldier remained in charge at the humanitarian post.
14:10: all returned to work. One family arrived at the DCL as during the night one of the men of the family was take for investigation and they don't know where he is. The family was very worried and they received the telephone number of the desk for the defense of the individual.
Happy freedom feast.