Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 18.10.10, Afternoon

Observers: 
shlomith S., Ora A. (reporting)
18/10/2010
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Afternoon

14:10 pm, Etzion DCL: the waiting room was packed.  As they did last week, those waiting organized a list, with numbers  according to the order of their arrival.  One of them, sitting on the edge of a row, said he had arrived at 7:00 a.m. and received the number 50.  Those next to him said they had 51 and 52, they too had arrived at seven; many before them had arrived at 3 and 4 a.m.  A man who left at 14:15 (after we had called the Humanitarian Centre) said his number was 36, that he had arrived at 6:30 and waited 8 hours. This was the time it took to attend to 36 people. At 14:30 a young man, summoned by the Shabak, came out -- he too had waited around 7 hours. After him came 5 persons who had been let through without a number. The rest who were waiting were not received. They protested angrily at the slow pace.

 

Again we called the Humanitarian Centre who tried to assist, as usual.  We did not succeed in getting a response from the Medical Centre when we called with respect to the sick who were seeking entry permits for medical treatment. We called several times between 16:00 and 17:20 but there was no answer.

 

Meanwhile more people arrived, among them a lawyer from Bethlehem who asked us to thank Silvia on his behalf for her help.  The crowd near the turnstile thickened.

 

At 15:00 an officer and a sergeant entered the hall and spoke to the waiting people. At the same time # 37 and 39 left, after just 15 minutes. Those who came after them said that inside they had waited only 30 minutes. When # 42 emerged, he said there were only 7 inside, but only a few more were let in.

 

Shortly after 4 p.m. no others were let in. Nevertheless we managed to talk the soldier into letting in two sick and elderly persons whose requests were granted.

 

At 16:10 # 54 emerged, an 86-year old man who had been waiting since the morning; followed by # 56-58.  None beyond # 60 -- they must have given up and left -- just # 67 who must have persisted, and left after 5 p.m. He was the last. Since the morning and until the closing of the DCL only 67 persons needing magnetic cards had been let in.

 

At 17:00 two officers came to the reception area. One of them, Major Danny, heard the requests and complaints of those waiting, some of whom had come more than once without being received, and had lost their days' wages.  Danny talked to them. He refused to speak to Shlomit saying it was "forbidden", probably because one of our previous shifts had complained about poor management.

 

Danny was approached by an ambulance driver who had come with medical documents from a hospital in Jerusalem regarding an 8-month old infant who must be taken for treatment to Jordan urgently , in the company of its mother and a nurse. Despite the request from the hospital, Danny (who has no medical expert) decided there was no urgency since the infant was hospitalized, the permit would be granted only tomorrow.

 

Before the DCL was closed we were approached by 2 men who had been summoned by the Shabak (in the middle of the night, as is customary) to make an appearance on the next day.  They had come, given their documents, and waited, one from 8 a.m., the other from noon. The Shabak did not receive them. We called the Humanitarian Centre and (perhaps due to their intervention) the two were called at 17:25 to the Shabak turnstile and given summonses for next Tuesday in Beer Sheva!!!  In other words, two men, one a Palestinian policeman the other a lawyer from Hebron had lost a day's work in order to be summoned to a meeting a week later!

 

Are there no regulations governing the work habits of the Shabak?  No investigation of their disrespect for human beings?