Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 7.9.09, Afternoon
14:00 PM, Ezion DCL: surprise! Last week we found the waiting room packed, swelteringly hot and high tension abounding. We expected the same today but surprisingly found a quiet and empty room. There were few cars in the parking lot. We were told that all who came before we arrived are already being attended. When, after a while, another six people came they were also taken in at our request. A young man, who had been waiting for a long time inside for a magnetic card, came out for a smoke, but when his name was announced over the speaker system was not allowed in again, until we intervened. He finally came out holding the magnetic card.
An elderly man told us all his papers had been stolen - ID card, magnetic card and work permit. He showed us police confirmation of a complaint he filed to that effect. Not withstanding, he said, the DCL refuses to replace his magnetic card and permit to work in Israel. When we inquired on his behalf we were told that he must produce another authorization from the court in Beth Lehem and a letter from his Israeli employer confirming his wish to employ him.
A woman complained that ten years ago soldiers entered her house at night and took a shotgun that her husband possessed by permission. Two years later he was summoned to stand trial. He hired a lawyer but when they came to court they were told there were no charges against him and that he is free to go. Two years later the same happened again and then a third time - three times he was summoned, hired a lawyer and once in court was told there were no charges and he can return home. We suggested she get in touch with Yesh Din.
Another man told us he had found a hundred dollar bill by the garbage can, picked it up and was immediately apprehended by the police who said it was forged. He was charged and the public defender nominated counsel for him.
A woman told us she was refused help because her ID card says mistakenly that she's from Daheishe and they only take cases from Beth Lehem at the DCL today. They told her to return next week on Daheish day. The soldier at the counter said he's not authorized to accept her. Repeated phone calls to the higher echelons telling them that it's a case of a 64 year old woman who finds it difficult to make the journey again finally resulted, at four o'clock, in the woman being accepted.