Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 3.8.09, Afternoon
Shortly after14.00 pm, Etzion DCL: there was again pressure inthe DCL today. However, Nevuani was thereand he quickly agreed to come down and “sort things out”. The waitingPalestinian men, together with quite a few women, were there to have magneticcards issued, the reason being that no permits are issued now withoutthem. There were also young peoplewithout numbers, husbands with their wives, and there were old and sick women,sick men without numbers, and a mother with a daughter and a son. As usual when there is pressure, peopletended to crowd toward the turnstile.
Nevuani came down togetherwith another soldier. Firstly heallowed the two old women (one of them with cancer) to enter. Secondly, he sat the people down andarranged them in order: those withnumbers close to the turnstile and those without further away. Afterwards, he took the numbers from thosewho had them and re-issued them firstly to the elderly men and women. Next, he gave out numbers to the twoprettiest young women in the room, afterwards to those others who had numbers,then again to the women, but not to their husbands or children.
After that, he went in tosee how many people there were inside, came out and distributed morenumbers. The man who was the first inthe queue in the morning became the last. He told those who remained without a number that perhaps they should gohome because there might not be time for them. Time raced past and it was already 15:20 pm. People started to come out with theirmagnetic cards, firstly the sick woman. Of course people became angry and felt that the officer could arrangeany order that he chose, just as if he were arranging clothes in acupboard. Anyway, there was completeorder in the queue, and people accepted his verdict.
We returned to the DCL at16:20 pm, as we had promised the people, and found that eight with numbers were stillwaiting, while inside we were told there were another three. Another telephone call to Nevuani, who this time completed his task without anyanger, and the last eight were accepted.
Then a lawyer and two familymembers approached us and told us that they had been informed in the morningthat their son who had been detained for interrogation , was to be released.(The prison cell is downstairs on a path around the building}. They insisted that I should go with them –there is no sign stating that it is forbidden to travel on the path around theEtzion camp – so we drove there. Wearrived at the door of the prison cells, asked what was happening with theyoung man and were told that he would be released within the next hour, andthat we were not allowed to be there and should return. On the way back, there were shouts of “stop!”, and from the military vehicle we were told that it was forbidden to travelon the track without a military escort. “Where is it written ?” we asked, and got out of our car to speak with the two officers : a captain and alieutenant. They interrogated me : “MachsomWatch ? we’ve never heard of it“. I explained to them again, and phonedEyad and the new brigade spokesperson, Lital. After 5 -10 minutes we drove after the militaryjeep towards the DCL. Then one of theofficers told the family that they should now drive after him to the camp andreceive their released son. “Now you will do it as it should be done” I tellthe lawyer and the imprisoned man’s brother. I and the father stay in the area of the DCL and the two drive after thejeep, not before they noted my telephone number. . . to be sure.
Within a quarter of an hourthey phoned to say that everything was OK and they were returning. Everything went smoothly (except for thecertificates which arrived separately from the imprisoned man). There were hugs and kisses, tearful eyes,and marks of handcuffs on the man’s wrists, We recommended that they write a report to the committee againsttorture.
Note : the procedure forfinding the time of release of aprisoner from the Etzion prison is that family members should learn the time byphoning the prison number: 02- 548 5449.