Etzion DCL, Mon 20.12.10, Afternoon

Shlomit S., Ora A. (reporting)

 4:10 PM, Etzion DCL:  as in a repetitive nightmare, we again observed a large mass of people, pushing and crowding against the entrance, waiting since early morning hours before a closed door. There was no soldier at the booth. We were told that an argument between the girl soldier at the booth and a "general" had ended with the soldier being dismissed from her stand and not being replaced by her superiors. Someone came out and explained that within there was only one soldier who was attending Shabak cases and entrance applications only. There was no one to attend to magnetic cards, for which most of the people had come. We phoned the Humanitarian centre and they promised to help.

14:20: A man came out holding his magnetic card. His report: he had been waiting from 8:00 to 10:00, was allowed in, and waited there "merely four and a half hours further"- he bitterly said. Another woman exited after him with her magnetic card, but that was it – no further exits. Apparently, the soldier became weary.

    A young boy approached us, complaining that this was his sixth attempt to get in – unsuccessfully yet again. A person refused by the shabak told us that he had hired a Jewish lawyer in order to try to remove his rejection status. He was charged 1500 NIS by the lawyer but nothing had been done. We referred him to Sylvia. We also tried to help a man who had been robbed of his documents when placing them in the tray at the entrance to Rachel's Passage" - as instructed.

Following our further phone calls exit was resumed. At 14:55 a couple that had waited for three hours came through. At 15:15 two young women who had received magnetic cards exited. At 15:55 a young man who came to renew his magnetic card finally came out after having waited since 10:30. He reported that the soldier within had been on the phone continuously, discussing details about his forthcoming wedding. A few more people emerged and then, at 16:30, came the announcement that the place would be closed. Some 25 persons were sent home, including the boy who had come six times.

Some people lingered behind in the waiting hall, hopefully, but they were disappointed. At 16:50 a young man came out smiling – he said he had waited since 07:00. Gradually, the last people attended to came through. We had a talk with a new officer who came to close up the hall and we complained to him about the lengthy waiting time. His response was that he also waited lengthily when, for instance, he went to obtain services at the transportation ministry.