Etzion DCL, Tue 11.1.11, Afternoon
14.30 till 17.00 PM
15.10 PM, Etzion DCL: we observed and acted only at the Etzion DCL checkpoint, because we wanted to observe the method of working until the closing hour (17:00 PM) of the office.
Tthe waiting hall was filled with 25 mostly young Palestinian men. Part of them stood close together on the stairs before the turnstiles leading to the offices. As long we were there the number of waiting people increased by 30 more, and then decreased a bit as some men gave up and left. People told us that most of them were waiting since the morning hours. They needed new magnetic cards in order to get necessary permits for work in Israel or in the settlements. By spending the day waiting that a soldier may be ready to help them, a lot of them already lost their income of that day. We did a lot of phone calls in order to reach superiors of Matak or somebody in charge at the Jerusalem civil administration. No soldier came until 15.50 PM. Then about 15 people (only) were let in. Later, shortly after 16.00 PM the soldiers asked if there is anybody waiting for the Shabak. He/she could come forward to ask questions. Nobody showed up.
As I mentioned already in recent reports it happens in Etzion DCL that soldiers refuse to elaborate on the cases of people who are not done until 16.00 PM even if the written notice on the wall indicates that the DCL closes daily at 17.00 PM. We told the soldiers on previous occasions at other shifts that "open until 17.00 PM" means that until 17.00 PM everybody can come in to present his needs, and that soldiers or employees have to deal with their problems even if it lasts longer than until 17.00 PM. This is the national and international established right of somebody who arrives before the closure hour.
We stayed to see what will happen at 16.00 PM.
A few minutes after the announcement that they are going to close the soldiers stopped giving out numbers or distributing appointments for next week's Tuesday in order to guarantee people that next week they may succeed. The soldier at the counter behind the turnstiles put his jacket on and left. The Palestinians on the stairs before the turnstile were stunned.
We were too.
When we tried after 16.30 PM to reach creative superiors by phone this was of no avail. Nobody answered his/her phone.