Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Thu 1.10.09, Afternoon

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Shlomit S., Ora A. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

13.45 Etzion DCL:  there were twelve people in the waiting-room, all of whom had been summoned by the GSS. They arrived at 09.00, their ID's were taken, and they had been waiting since then. One young man told us that at one in the morning soldiers entered his family's house, searched it and stayed there until 04.00. Before they left they summoned him and his three brothers to a meeting with the GSS. The four brothers reported to the Etzion office in the morning and handed-over their ID's. One of them was taken-in at 10.00 and still hadn't come-out.They didn't know what happened to him, no-one had spoken to them and they were worried.
Another young man told us that this was the fifth time that he had been summoned by the GSS. He came for the meeting at the DCL four times, and each time he was told to wait until the end of the day and then told to return the next day. A third one told us that a GSS official had suggested that he should cooperate with them and he had refused. His permit to enter Israel was immediately cancelled, and his livelyhood had suffered. He has now been summoned again for a meeting with the GSS and he is worried that he will again be pressured to cooperate. He also, like all the rest, had been waiting since 09.00 AM.

We phoned Ravi, and told him that about thirteen people had already been waiting for hours, and we asked him to phone the GSS. He responded to our request politely. Also Danny and Eyad, to whom we had applied during the last few weeks, spoke to us politely and mostly agreed to our requests. Within a short time the ID's of three of the brothers were returned to them but the fourth one still didn't come out of the GSS office. At our request, Ravi allowed an inhabitant of Bethlehem to enter in order to clarify his case today, and didn't postpone him until Monday (Bethlehem residents' day), because the man explained that his case had already been postponed from last Monday, and that because of Yom Kippur the DCL had been closed. Additional people were also allowed to enter.

At 15.00 huge trucks with large cranes entered the parking lot. An elderly man approached us and complained that he had been prevented from working and operating his crane at his home in Al Fagger, and brought it to Etzion. We referred him to “Yesh Din” (the Israeli lawyers' volunteer organization set-up to defend Palestinians in court). In the meantime a group of Israelis from the Civil Administration gathered around the trucks . When we tried to speak to them, they answered rudely and shouted at us to go away. When we moved away, the young man who had been summoned by the GSS to come today for the fifth time, came out and told us that he had again been told to return on the following day.

Is there a way to demand supervision over the GSS's activities ?