15.15 When we arrived the carpark was completely full and there were many people milling around outside. Apparently, because magnetic cards hadn’t been issued for a month (the army had run out of cards, remember?), now there was this unusual crowd of applicants. Also, people told us, during the morning there were long periods when no one was admitted so that also accounted for the number of people still waiting.
As soon as we came, a man told us that his application for an emergency permit was being handled by Hanna B., but she was told by the soldiers that he wasn’t present. After a couple of phone calls, this was sorted out and he entered.
A few people who had given up during the morning but returned later with their original numbers tried to be admitted. One, who had had to go to a dentist appointment, was admitted, but others were told to take new number s and to wait.
There were a few people who had been summoned by Security. They were all told to sit and wait. As usual, there were a few people who were interested in getting Sylvia’s contact details.
One man, a Jordanian-Palestinian citizen, had been inside and his Palestinian i.d. left inside. It was only at 5 o’clock that it was returned to him. (We couldn’t understand the story behind this incident.)
A man whose sister is in Hadassah Hospital to undergo an operation on a brain tumour in the morning (Tuesday) tried to get a permit to see her, though he is prevented from entering by Security. We phoned the Humanitarian moked. The woman we spoke to said she could not help us, but recommended Physicians for Human Rights. The man said this would take too much time before he would get results. In the end, we referred him to Hanna B. in the hope she could help. It seems unconscionable not to allow a close family member to visit in such a serious medical situation!
Although official hours are until 17.00, at 16.40 there was a sudden announcement that no one more would be admitted. We phoned to protest but the woman soldier who answered said that their closing depended on the number of applicants waiting already inside , and not on the clock, and that she was not authorized to make changes. Needless to say, the woman who was holding a slip for ‘no.183’ was furious that the last number entering was ‘no.182! Unfortunately there was no officer present who could help – as occasionally happens at the end of day.
Shortly before closing-time a young man, accompanied by his father, came with an appointment for the following day with a cardiologist in east Jerusalem, to get a permit. He came out after closing, holding an “application for a permit.” He had been told to return in the morning, leaving the actual appointment form with the soldiers. Hopefully, he will be given the given the permit early in the morning. We gave him our phone number, in case he would need help.