Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 11.1.10, Afternoon

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


14:00 PM, Etzion DCL: the hall is almost empty. We found in it only three Machsom Watch members who arrived there by mistake, and a gloomy youngster summoned by Shabak. Our colleagues related in wonder that the soldier on duty at the window had spoken politely to the Palestinians wishing to enter, and had invited them in, had even said “please”!  

Everyone had entered except for the youngster waiting for the Shabak. He came over to us and said that he had been summoned for a meeting at nine am. He had arrived in time, handed over his ID and had been waiting since then. No one approached him. We tried to phone the DCL commanders to ask that they remind the Shabak representative that the Palestinian was waiting, but we couldn’t get through to them. It appeared that all the officers were in a meeting and their phones were closed. There was no duty officer with an open line, even though this was an hour for receiving public! We could not help the youngster, and he remained waiting. We have already complained, orally and in writing, about the Shabak habit of summoning people for a morning hour meeting, taking their IDs, without which they cannot leave the place, and forcing them to wait long hours with no possibility of getting food or drink and without anyone talking to them. They sit and wait, sometimes until closing hour of the DCL, when their identity cards are returned and they are ordered to come again the next morning. A few weeks ago we met a man who was compelled to come five days running, to wait long hours, to be sent home with an order to be back in the morning. Our complaints did not help. Seems that there is no law or morality that obligates the Shabak and it continues to harass people without intervention.

We were approached by a man whose daughter is hospitalised in Jerusalem. He said that he had submitted a request for an entry permit in order to visit her, handed over all the documents, and when he came to get the permit, was told that the documents were not there. Yael phoned again. Apparently the meeting was over and she succeeded in talking to Nir who promised to deal with the matter.


16:30 PM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: a long line formed. Crowded but orderly, stretching out before the entrance. Inside, five open stations. A quiet and authoritative police officer was managing the transit efficiently. He let women and children in without waiting in line. He ordered large groups of workers to enter and they passed quickly.We spoke with a group of illegals who were not let in. They said they were building labourers working permanently in Jerusalem. Today, police had come, discovered they had no work permits, had taken them from the work place and brought them here. We asked why they didn’t arrange work permits for themselves. The oldest among them replied that the youngsters can’t get permits. The older ones do get. He can get a permit if his employer asks. The employer is willing to ask, but demands that the labourer gives him five thousand shekels! He himself pays 150 shekels a day to a worker. The youngsters get thirty shekels for a day’s work. One worker said that his young son is paid 50 shekels a day.