Etzion DCL, Mon 12.9.11, Afternoon
14.20 The parking lot is full; 40-50 people are waiting for magnetic cards in the hall. We are told that two people were taken inside.at 14.00
14.25 Four people who have received magnetic cards come out. According to them, they arrived at 06.00 . A woman with a baby in her arms comes out after them; according to her, she arrived at the DCL at 09.00
14.55 A young man complains to us that he was told to leave without any explanation of the reason.
15.15 Another man complains that he was ordered to leave without being attended to. The soldier claims that he he is a citizen of Beit Jalla and because today is the day allocated to Bethlehem citizens and not for Beit Jalla he won’t be attended to. The man shows us his ID, which he had shown to the soldier, where it is explicitly written that he is from Bethlehem. Neverthelss the soldier insists and sends him away.
Another young man tellls us that his wife is hospitalized in Jerusalem. He has a permit to visit her today, and asked for an extension for several days, but he was refused.
15.30 A few people are let in. At 15.45 a man who has received a magnetic card comes out and another also. The pace is very slow and the waiting hall is full. We phone the commander of the DCL and describe the situation to him. He comes immediately, together with another officer, sees the many waiting people and promises that “everyone will be taken care of today”. People waiting are immediately taken inside.
We tell the commander about the man from Bethlehem, who was refused on the grounds that he is from Beit Jalla, and the commander orders that he be taken inside (again). The man comes out at 16.10 with what he requested in his hand. Also, the young man who was sent away without being asked what he was applying for is taken inside and receives a magnetic card.
16.30 Two elderly people come out and after them, two women who had been waiting since 08.30. The soldiers (now) work at a fast pace and four people come out one after the other, and after them a man and his wife, both smiling.
17.10 Three women come out, together with a girl who is smiling. At 17.25 a young man, and woman suffering from vertigo who walks with difficulty, are taken inside, as well as a group of elderly people, all of whom are weak and cannot push their way in so they are left behind. They would not have been attended to today were it not for the intervention of the commander. We are told that there are still 10-12 people waiting inside, and another 7 remain in the waiting hall.
17.40 The soldier tells those waiting - to go home. We request him to let them also go in, but he claims that he should have closed the place an hour earlier, and won’t let them in now. When an officer comes to lock the doors of the hall, we tell him that the commander promised that everyone would be attended to today, and he orders the soldier to let everyone in.
At 18.40 one of the last to be let in comes out, and at 19.10 the last three come out and the place is closed about two hours after the usual closing time. From the start of our shift until now about 46 people have been attended to.
During our shift last week all the waiting people had been attended to by closing time. We hoped that that also this week everyone would be dealt with like this, but to our disappointment it didn’t happen. Without the commander’s intervention, many people would have been sent home empty-handed. Let’s hope that the influence of this intervention will continue in the future, that the closing hour will be delayed if necessary , and that that all those who have waited will have been properly treated by closing time.