Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300, Hussan, Etzion DCL, Beit Ummar, Nabi Yunis, Monday 6.6.11,morning
A BAD DAY AT ETZION DCL
7.00 am, Bethlehem – Checkpoint 300: the parking lot was closed off and the guard told us it was for the terminal only. So in fact there isn’t any legal parking. Everyone said that passage was easy today.
One man from Beth Fajar whose access to his works has been closed to him for four years, needs a permit to enable him to connect electricity there. Chaya gave him a phone number.
7.20 am, Hussan: no clients at the checkpoint except one man waiting for a Hebron-bound taxi (to take him home from his work in Atarot). He was happy to chat with us. He said life was much easier before “Peace” (i.e., Oslo), because then he could work freely in Eilat, Tel Aviv, anywhere in the country.
7.55 am, Etzion DCL: about 30 people of all ages were waiting for the station to open and prepared a list. Just after 8:00 am, a truck drew up, a loudspeaker ordered everyone to go back behind the barrier and then two officers hopped out and called the people one by one to take numbers, in accordance with the list. We arranged with one man, no.24 on the list, to keep in touch. At 9.10 he told us that 13 people had been admitted. An hour later no one else was admitted. We phoned a DCL soldier who said she would check and also the Moked (The Central Office), but with little progress.
At 12:25 our informant phoned to say that they were told that the computer was down, a few people had given up and left. As he was by now second in line, he decided to wait while I spoke to the DCL for them to prepare a list of those who couldn't manage to be admitted so that they could come the next day (though when could that be, seeing that tomorrow evening will be Shavuot?). When I phoned they said there was no problem with the computer, but that they were under pressure. Apparently the soldier at the window simply told the people waiting this. Why? Did he hope (realistically, in the event) that people would just give up and go away? After more phone calls to the DCL and the Moked (who sounded as if they were really trying to help) and a few despairing calls from our informant we finally had a call from him at 15:15 to say that he was now the proud holder of a renewed magnetic card. He thanked us effusively. I couldn’t understand from him, though, how many people were still waiting.
There was no police officer at Etzion DCL. At Hebron, too, there would be no police in the morning though possibly in the afternoon.
We got a phone-call from a man who had to go to the Qalqiliya police to hand in forms to lodge an appeal. The policeman did not want to accept them and Chaya spoke to the policeman and explained (!) to him the correct procedure.
8:40-9:00 am, Beth Ummar, Nabi Yunis: we had two arranged meetings to arrange legal payments, power of attorney and delivery of medicine for someone, which we left at the local grocery.
During the morning there were a few people who had been refused permits by Security. Though we gave them Sylvia’s phone number, we had to tell them to contact her only in July. Apparently the appeal procedure is being changed but they haven’t finalized (or given us) the details yet, so we can’t start any new appeals just now.