Al Nashshash, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 4.5.09, Afternoon

Shlomit S., Yael S. (reporting)

2:00 PM, Etzion DCL: the DCL is practically empty at 2 pm. The few people who arrive have to wait for the soldier who is responsible for the carrousel to open up. Even the tea vendor had gone already.
One is waiting for the secret service and another who just came out had the interesting story of the day:the relatives of his wife are from Jordan, and he is not allowed to leave for Jordan and they turn him back at the bridge. According to the rules he meets with the  representative of the secret service who told him that there is no use his trying to pass for the next two years.

His brother killed two soldiers on the bridge of Chalchul. He was under arrest for 23 days and then released.
Section 13 of the UN Declaration for Human Rights states:1-     Every person is entitled to freedom of movement and domicile in every country.2-     Every person is allowed to leave any country, including his own, and to return to it.Is the fact that he is the brother of a person who committed a terrorist act depriving him of this right even if he is not ashamed of the deed of his brother?

Today we were visited by an officer and by the lady who is responsible for computerization in the Etzion DCL. It takes 19 -15 minutes to prepare a new magnetic card – a matter of a sensitive system of identification. They were interested and explained that one person who came for a magnetic card is actually under secret service investigation; possibly he was afraid to tell his father, who accompanied him, that he is under investigation or possibly that he came to get a magnetic card and in reality was summoned by the secret service.

04:15 PM, Bethlehem - checkpoint 300:  t
he new regulations that require registration of returning workers from their workday makes their life more difficult. The regulation states that the worker must return before the time marked on his permit to the occupied territories via one of the eleven gatesinfo-icon that are equipped with a biometric system of identification in order that the system can be ‘finalized’. If the worker or the owner of an exit permit is in Israel – he is in an ‘open’ state and when he returns and is identified, he is in a ‘closed’ state, i.e. he is back in the territories. It is interesting how many mistakes are made and how many Palestinians will be prosecuted and will be deprived of their permits because the system did not register their reentry correctly (which now proceeds relatively very fast compared with the entry into Israel or into Jerusalem – or as one of the workers said, to El Kuds).

Al Nashshash:  people who could return to Hebron in a direct autobus from Jerusalem on road 60, now need to travel through Bethlehem and the Nashshash checkpoint, which prolongs the trip by another hour.

The lines are long, the two responsible officers were present at the checkpoint (Roni and Hagai) and there was also a representative of the DCL who stood at the entrance of the passage.

The time of passage was noted: between 5 – 10 minutes from the moment of arrival until the exit.

The pressure is quite great, and although there is a potential of 12 windows the actual performance is 6 windows. Hagai complains that we after all we did not manage to add manpower and improve the passage which was planned for 1000 persons and now 3000 to 4000 workers pass every day. I reminded him that, in addition, there is also the humanitarian passage.

I asked him also about those who are ‘excluded' from the Basmut (fingerprinting apparatus) – when there is a problem with their biometric identification at the checkpost.
Last week the Eucumenicals told us that 8 persons were  returned. Since then I did not get a report. In any case, the policy is that they send back only those if and whenever the system warns of a specific problem – and not those who the system just fails to identify. Those are requested to go to the DCL during office hours to deal with the problem.