Etzion DCL, Tue 21.6.11, Afternoon
ANGER AND FRUSTRATION AT DCL
Etzion DCL, 14:25 : as expected, there was a big crowd (of over 50) waiting to get magnetic cards. Why ‘expected?’ Because last week the DCL was closed on Monday and Tuesday so this week there was double the usual load. No provision was made to handle this situation, though the same thing had happened on Monday so experience should have prepared the authorities, if not prescience!
At any rate, we were immediately surrounded by crowds complaining about the treatment, many having arrived already early in the morning. Knowing that Hannah Barag had managed to negotiate on Monday that everyone would be received, I called her for help. After she called the authorities, she said that if there were already so many people still waiting at such a late hour there was no chance that all would be received, but that she had been told that ‘someone would come down to the waiting-room to see the situation.’ During our time there we phoned both the DCL office and the Moked a number of times to try to get relief and also to get this ‘someone’ to come to the waiting-room.
At 15.25 we heard a woman’s loud shouting in Arabic from the window – telling everyone that the office was now closed and that they should go home. The locals were all shocked by her (in their view) ‘coarse language.’ As official closing time is 17.00 we phoned to protest and some five people were then admitted.
We made a list of all those waiting in line in the hope that we could enable them to come next morning. During our time there, some of the people disappeared, either giving up - or managing to sneak in via the back entrance (apparently this is possible if you are agile enough!)
By 16.15 there were still seven people resolutely waiting. The woman officer I spoke to (it was she, apparently, who had done the shouting) refused to admit them, saying their office was full.
A little earlier a woman from Bethlehem had come for her card, after having tried yesterday. Her husband who was accompanying her, made a phone-call and they were admitted right away. Iit was an officer of the DCL, at an alternate phone number given us by the Moked.We phoned this officer and he said we should make a list of the remaining people waiting and they would be admitted first thing in the morning. This was the arrangement he had made for the Monday people. So this is what we did – and I gave my phone number to one of the men in case there would be problems.
This cool report does not begin to express the anger and bitterness felt by all.