Qalandiya, Mon 27.5.13, Afternoon
At 3:45 PM there were hardly any people at the CP. There was a small line in one of the passageways and none at all in the other two active passageways. A handwritten sign was hanging in the passageway leading to the DCO offices. It said that the DCO would only deal with emergencies on May 27 and 28. We phoned headquarters to ask what was happening and were told that there were no soldiers or officers at the DCO offices.
About 10 minutes later a weeping 47 year old woman stood at the entrance to the DCO passageway. We approached her and asked if we could be of help and she told us that she had requested a permit to accompany her 20 year old daughter to the American Consulate in Jerusalem. She said she had paid money for several documents which she had presented to the female soldier who “took care of her” and the soldier had crumpled the papers as if to discard them and finally stamped them that the request was refused. The woman was very anxious about her daughter who had never been to Jerusalem and would not know how to find a taxi and get to the Consulate. She didn’t know how to deal with the situation. She told us that her daughter was to be engaged to a young man who was coming from the States and would take her back with him after the marriage. The woman couldn’t understand the refusal in view of the fact that she regularly receives permission for treatment at a Jerusalem hospital. We tried to phone Anan, the DCO representative whose name was stamped on the refusal, but the phone was not answered. So we called Alon, another representative. Although he was not at the CP, he phoned and spoke to the soldiers at the DCO and arranged for the woman to receive the permit.
A few minutes after the woman had gone, a couple from Hizmeh arrived at the DCO passageway carrying an invitation to present themselves for an examination at another Jerusalem hospital. They told us that they had already been to Qalandiya several hours earlier but the soldiers were unwilling to deal with them and sent them first to Beit El and from there to Ofer – in short, a wild goose chase that ended up back in Qalandiya. Once again we phoned Alon who arranged for the two to enter the DCO offices and receive their permit.
Apart from the problems with the DCO, the CP appeared to be working efficiently during our shift. So what was the problem with the DCO?