Etzion DCL

Hannah BARG, Translation: Naomi Gal

13:30 the parking lot is completely full and so is the waiting hall. Some are waiting to get service and some are accompanying them. On the big-screen TV appear the numbers of the people waiting according to the type of service they wish to receive. Only one window is operating because the computers crashed. They have been waiting for a technician since morning, but he probably wouldn’t come today (it is Purim Day). Officers come down to the waiting area and explain to those waiting that there is a problem. They ask those whose problem is not urgent to return another time. Since the last letter we sent complaining about the none-issuing of magnetic cards, we heard that by now they already have magnetic cards. They are now valid for four years and not two years as they were in the past. (From this we learned that the occupation is probably not going to end.)


Other “happy news”:

Permits for Christian Holydays will be given to all holydays in one permit that will be valid only for various holyday times. This will avoid the need to return to the DCO before each holyday.

New prayer permits are granted for six months (what about freedom of worship?).

Explanation of prevention: the soldiers manning the windows will be trained not to simply comment "prevented" but will have to specify which prevention (GSS or police), and will be given forms to appeal (we should find out later if it is indeed done, and if not we will continue to complain).

Fingerprints: they again complained that they are being sent to Bethlehem Checkpoint for renewal and that they lose at least one working day. It was promised that they’ll check the option to install a machine at the checkpoint. We shouldn’t hold our breath, years ago they promised that they’ll take care of the matter but so far nothing has changed. Journalist Amira Hess had already clarified what is the value of Palestinian time...

Waiting to meet with GSS those waiting will probably continue to wait for hours till they will be ushered to "the talk." There is no control over the GSS, and we already knew that.

Accompanying for medical treatment: There is an understanding that in cases of hospitalization it’s impossible that only one accompanying family member or friend will get a permit to stay by the patient and that they have to enable more people to get to the hospital.

The long wait for service: it was again claimed that people come in the morning "to get in line", regardless of reception hours and needlessly wait for hours. That may be true to some extent but the problem is still a problem.

A pronounced increase in the number of Palestinians who prefer to receive service in Etzion DCO instead of Hebron DCO: Since we do not have access to the Hebron DCO it’s difficult to find out why is Etzion DCO better, but the number of people who turn to Etzion DCO is increasing considerably.

Work permits and commerce: There is probably a slight relief in granting these permits, mostly for work in the settlements, where they are constructing....constructing. ..

15:45 I left while there were still many people at in the waiting area.