Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Mon 31.1.11, Morning
7.00 am, Bethlehem – Checkpoint 300: because of the violent weather, very few labourers. All whom we asked said they had passed through very quickly and easily.
Husan and Beit Ummar: no clients at all, presumably because of the weather.
7.45 am, Etzion DCL: already there were least 15 men waiting outside in the bitter cold. One man was making a list so that there could be some order when the office would finally open. He agreed to report on the situation inside if we would phone him. At 8.15 am there were 24 people inside.
At 9.30 am he said that only three people had been admitted in the previous hour. We phoned the DCL and a woman soldier said she would check. When we called 15 minutes later she was ‘ still checking'. After that, unfortunately, in spite of repeated attempts, we didn't succeed in making phoning contact with this man, so don't know if any progress was made.
9.00 am, Nabi Yunis: here we had nine clients, sufficiently desperate so as to brave the bitterly cold wind. One we referred to Kiryat Arba for a `teudat yosher' (certificate of legality). One had arranged a meeting with us to deal with an old traffic fine (that Ada is handling). One is still dealing with an `offence' in which he was in error accused of driving with an invalid license. Here Chaya writes the relevant letters to the authorities in Hebrew. We advised a man who didn't know whether he was refused entry by the police or by Security to go to the Palestinian DCL to get this information - as a first step.
We gave Sylvia's details to a man refused by Security.
One man gave Chaya authority to check his police records to see why he was refused.
As usual, Chaya had checked early to see that a police officer was on duty at Etzion and so she could refer three men there to get printed information as to why their permits were refused. When after an hour they said they were not yet admitted, we learned that `the system was down'. Chaya arranged with the police officer to have their documents faxed to her. She would then fax them to the clients, saving them an Etzion DCL experience.