Etzion DCL, Mon 11.3.13, Morning

Chaya O., Chana S. (reporting)

7.30 – 10.30 a.m.

Among the ”routine”  cases of men trying to appeal  their bans on entry , bans placed either by  the police or by Security  - each “routine case” implying a family breadwinner being unable to provide for his family, sometimes for years, or a young unemployed man getting more and more bitter – we met outside the DCO a particularly outrageous  instance.  A young man came out of the office with a form stating that he was refused entry to Israel until 2101 Could this be so? Or is it a mistake?

We were informed that the rules have once again been changed and now fines incurred in the West Bank cannot be paid in Israel  (so the custom  we had of Chaya’s  paying fines  at a Jerusalem post office on behalf of Palestinians who were banned from entering  would have to stop).  The  authorities told us that Palestinians should pay at Palestinian banks – but we know that many  Palestinian banks refuse to accept these payments ( perhaps because it is collaborating with the Israeli occupation?), or they can pay at post offices in settlements.  But here too, many Palestinians are not allowed entry.  In the past, they often had to entrust money to some stranger  to pay for them, only to find that their money had vanished.
Not only does this restriction cause inconvenience but, as we know, any delay in paying a fine leads to an increase in the fine, so this is another way of adding to the financial burden of the locals (and to the coffers of the Occupation?).
Recently, we reported the case of a man who was accused, a few months ago, of stealing a television set.  (The whole family was woken up in the middle of the night, the house searched, and the set confiscated.) He was cleared of the accusation in court but had paid a 2,500 shekel  deposit (bail?).  Since then  he has been sent back and forth between Ofer and Hebron trying to get his money back.  Now it transpires that the money is in the Jerusalem Court and it is only a lawyer who can redeem it for him.  MW has arranged this but there go 800 of his 2,500 shekels!


POLICE POCKETING MONEY?   Last week I did not manage to write a report, but this is worth noting.  A young man told us that he and a friend had each paid 30 shekels to a police man at the police station of Kiryat Arba, in order to get a Teudat Yosher (a printout of  one’s police record).  This, as we know, is supposed to be free of charge so presumably the policeman was trying to line his pocket.
[ Not part of this report] Also, last Tuesday afternoon, people arriving for magnetic cards at Etzion DCL found there were no soldiers and we could get no answer on the phone because, according to the soldier at the window of the waiting-room, the soldiers were away on a tiyul. (He himself had only come on duty in the afternoon, so did not know what conditions were in the morning.)