Etzion DCL, Sun 11.12.11, Afternoon
Etzion DCL, 15:15 pm: it is almost Christmas, and as usual, many need a magnetic card or a renewal of their existing one in order to be eligible for a permit. Thus, the parking lot is very full and some twenty women and men are huddled on the steps leading to the turnstile.
A young man with an American passport asks if we can help remove his girlfriend's being refused entry into Israel on security grounds. We give him S's number but say chances are slim. They want to go into the office anyway to try for a permit just for the holiday (good luck…) or to get an application form for the removal of her refusal on security grounds (It is not clear why these forms cannot be made more handy instead of having to go through a long and unpleasant wait just to get a form).
An elderly man vents his frustration at the situation and says the hardships only arouse more hatred and there will never be peace.
However, things have improved somewhat at the DCL: The soldier girl at the window tells us that even though the office inside is packed and it is rather late, everybody will go in. She is also attentive to our calls and whenever someone arrives with a need for something other than a magnetic card, she heeds and lets them in immediately. Moreover, the pace of people exiting the office having secured what they came for is pretty fast and they inform us that all 3 stations are operative inside.
15 minutes before closing time the 7 people still at the turnstile are told it is too late but they can come back tomorrow and ask for N (the nice soldier girl whom we already know). She will see to it that they go in even though it is not "their" day. The Palestinians have all the patience in the world and find it hard to accept "no" for an answer so they plead, we join in, and she succumbs. The waiting hall is empty and we can leave. Satisfied?