Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL, Thu 7.2.13, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
A notice posted on the waiting room door announced that on Thursday services to the public close at noon. Not long ago it was announced that on Thursday they close at 13:30. People who hadn’t known about the change arrived while we were there. They weren’t admitted and will have to come again next Thursday. A woman who argued with the soldier was allowed to return Monday.
A woman from Beit Safafa who arrived with her five children told us she’s an Israeli citizen; her husband is a resident of the occupied territories. He had an Israeli residence permit. It was taken from him three years ago; he was told the Shabak had blacklisted him. He contacted an attorney who dealt with it and told him the blacklisting had been cancelled. The woman showed us a document from the Ministry of the Interior confirming that he’s permitted residency in Israel until the end of 2013. Based on that authorization, she requested a permit for him for one year. But the DCO refused because, according to the computer, the blacklisting is still in force. We called everyone we hoped might help but without success. She’ll again have to get an attorney.
Two young sisters approached us. They’d both received permits to enter Jerusalem during the coming Christian holiday. They’d requested permits for five more of their sisters but were denied. We tried to find out the reason for the refusal, but couldn’t. We were told that “the rules were bent for the first two.“ R., the officer, promised to take care of the matter; perhaps they’ll bend the rules a little more for the others.
We met a young man who said he has trouble supporting his family. It’s hard to find work in the occupied territories. When he does find something, he’s paid 70-75 shekels per day. He wants to work in Israel but has no entry permit because he’s blacklisted by the Shabak. He paid an attorney NIS 40,000, which he borrowed from family members and friends, to get the blacklisting canceled!
We left around closing time. More people arrived, but only those requesting permits “for humanitarian reasons” were admitted.