Etzion DCL, Mon 29.11.10, Afternoon

Shlomit S., Ora A. (reporting). Charles K. (translating)

13:45 pm,  Etzion DCL:  as usual, the waiting room is full and the revolving gate is very crowded. As usual, those waiting are irritated. Unusually, an officer handed out numbers to those waiting who arrived early in the morning!  But he didn’t order the soldier to admit them in order of the numbers, to maintain order in the line and to make people without numbers go back. When the gate opened, those who were strong and aggressive burst in, including many who had arrived later and had no numbers at all, and the soldier didn’t make them go back. The weaker remained behind and didn’t succeed in entering before closing time. They’ll have to return, on the appointed day, next week. Then they’ll probably also have to wait a long time and not get in. We met people who told us they’ve already been here three times and haven’t been able to get in. We suggested they choose one of their number to assign priority and make sure people adhere to it, but they didn’t respond. We tried to speak to the soldier on duty, asking him to admit two people holding single-digit numbers:  a slim, delicate young man, almost a youth, and an older, despairing teacher, but he refused. Maybe because of the outbreaks, or the long lunch break, the gate didn’t open and no one entered.

We spoke with the humanitarian office, which promised to help.  After more than an hour a few people came out holding the longed-for magnetic card. The rate of people exiting was very slow; from time to time people stopped exiting. At 16:30 an announcement in Hebrew:  “Go home!  Go home!”  The many people waiting all went home. A few optimists remained near the revolving gate, hoping it would still open. It didn’t. The DCL closed at 17:00, as usual. No extensions.

A man asked us to help locate his 16-year-old son who’d disappeared two days ago.  He should have returned from work at three in the afternoon, but didn’t. The father didn’t have his son’s ID number. Shlomit called the humanitarian office, which located the son’s ID number and promised to help. We made more calls, but to no avail. The father left us, worried and unhappy. On our way home Shlomit got a call from the father who told us the son was at the Ofer base, and thanked her.

A father and son, merchants working together, asked for our help. Both have entry permits to Israel, but the son’s permit was suddenly cancelled because “he was suspected of working as a laborer.” On the basis of this strange suspicion (stealing the job of a worker from Thailand?), no more than a suspicion, he’s forbidden entry to Israel to work with his father. We tried to help.