Beit Ummar, Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Mon 26.8.13, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Information about how persons blacklisted from entering Israel are dealt with by the police
How they manage to obtain a “form,” and how difficult it is to get one.
As we wrote in past reports, in order to determine whether anything can be done for a Palestinian blacklisted by the police from entering Israel, they must obtain a “form” from a policeman stationed at the DCO (only the DCO policeman’s computer contains information about the date the blacklisting ends), and they must also obtain a “criminal record” certificate which lists all the police files opened against them. Only on the basis of these documents can they decide whether to appeal the blacklisting; they also indicate whether any files are still open and must be closed before taking any further steps.
Problems in obtaining the “form”
1. In theory, anyone can obtain a “form” from the policeman in any DCO. If, for example, a resident of Hebron is in Ramallah or Nablus he can request a “form” from the local DCO policeman. That’s what the head of the DCO policemen has been telling us for years. But the DCO policemen usually refer applicants to the DCO in their place of residence.
2. Often the policeman doesn’t provide the blacklisted Palestinian with the form containing the details of the blacklisting, but informs him orally of the date that the ban on entering Israel ends, or recommends sending a lawyer instead, or to come back in such-and-such number of years, etc.
3. Often the DCO policemen take advantage of the fact that someone has come for a “form,” and refer him to interrogation by some Shabak “captain.” The captain proposes, “Help us (become an informer) – we’ll help you” (obtain a work permit). People fear this situation more than any other. It’s threatening, even though usually accompanied by coffee and cigarettes. You have to be clever and brave to find a way of refusing. Some people are afraid to request a “form” and a “criminal record” certificate, preferring to pay an attorney hundreds of sheqels to do it for them.
4. Often the policeman provides inaccurate information and poor advice. It’s not always out of ill will; sometimes it’s simply out of negligence or ignorance.
5. An additional problem is the service provided by the DCO policeman. Often the reception hours posted in the DCO waiting room aren’t adhered to. When they are, the policeman isn’t in the booth where he should be, and people wait for nothing. The policeman has an office in one of the buildings in the DCO compound with the computer, telephone and all the necessary documents. The policeman shows up at his booth every 1 ½ - 2 hours to collect the ID cards of people who are waiting. After half an hour, if they’re lucky, and after 2 – 3 hours or longer if they’re not, he returns with the information we referred to earlier.
07:30 Husan. No one awaited us.
07:50 Nashash (northern entrance to El Khader). A man waited who’d been told he’d been blacklisted. He went to the Etzion DCO to obtain information and the soldier (?) or policeman (?) gave him an “Application to cancel a security/criminal blacklisting.” That form, of course, is useless for him. In order to apply to cancel a blacklisting he has to know whether he’s been blacklisted by the Shabak or by the police or by the army, etc.
This isn’t the first time we’ve met with people who’ve been given this form, which someone has filled out for them, and their request has been denied. This form, for the two types of blacklisting specified on it (security/criminal) has been used since December, 2012, only for Shabak blacklisting (security). No one bothered to erase the word “criminal.” Nor does anyone bother to explain to someone blacklisted by the Shabak, or by the police, or to some of those blacklisted by the army, that an application to cancel the blacklisting won’t be accepted if it’s not accompanied by a letter from the Israeli employer. The soldier who tells the person, “You’ve been blacklisted” sees all the relevant information on the computer. He usually doesn’t tell him what kind of blacklisting has been imposed. He doesn’t refer him immediately to the adjoining policeman’s booth so he can obtain the form specifying the date the blacklisting ends.
Nor does the soldier bother to explain to people who’ve been blacklisted by the army for various reasons how and where they can obtain information about the blacklisting.
But maybe we shouldn’t blame the soldier for the confusion and for denying people information; he’s only the final link in the chain. We can assume that if those above him thought he should behave differently he would have received different, specific instructions.
In other words, the person who came to the DCO to find out why they’ve been blacklisted received an irrelevant answer and has to go from place to place to find out what can be done. In fact, his only recourse is to hire an attorney (NIS 1500-2000, and more), and even then the chances of success are very slim.
08:20 Etzion DCO. Before 08:00 we’d already determined that yes, today there’s a policeman at the Etzion DCO. Two people wait for him; they say the soldier told them there’s no policeman there. We shout from the waiting room, through the revolving gate to the soldier’s sealed booth, that in fact there is a policeman at the DCO. Yes, she says, but he’s not in the booth. And now the procedure is that when he comes to the booth he tells her to call over the loudspeaker to those waiting for him in the waiting room. Otherwise there will be confusion within (!). That’s why she doesn’t admit them.
If people wait in the waiting room, not next to the policeman’s booth, they must pay attention to the loudspeaker announcement which is made in Hebrew, rapidly and unclearly because of the loudspeaker’s distortion. Someone who didn’t understand, didn’t pay attention, went out to smoke or to the bathroom – will miss the policeman and won’t get an answer.
08:50 Beit Umar. A few people have come to consult about matters involving the Shabak and the police.
09:20 Nabi Yunis. A few people have arrived here also to consult about such matters, as well as others who ask us to pay traffic fines at post offices in Israel. They can’t pay those fines in the occupied territories.