After May’s report I met with the head of Etzion DCO and tried to explain the problems I witnessed.
Early rising people arrive at DCO, make an appointment for their real appointment and wait for the DCO to open. Of course, already at this stage there is a problem because some decide to jump the queue and push the weaker ones back.
I want to tell the story of Aisha, who came in with a relative to get a magnetic card. Her designed number was 67 - 66 was her relative’s number. A strange coincidence…
We arrived at DCO at 15:10. There were lots of people and as agreed with DCO’s head I sent him a message and asked him to find out what is going on: dozens of people were waiting.
It was crystal clear there was no chance in the world that in the remaining two hours more than 50 people will be accepted.
At 15:27 number 28 came out. At 15:29 number 56 entered and the last number was about 180.
15:30 El Atrash family arrived, went immediately in and came out with the magnetic cards around 16:00.
At 15:46 Mrs. Aisha stood by the carousel. She was supposed to be the next number to be let in.
At 16:10 her relative, number 66, came out with the magnetic card. And Ayesha stood by the carousel - she was next.
At 16:04 family Mekarkan with its 6 members and their wives arrived. They took numbers 190 to 196, one of them spoke on the phone and wow, miraculously each one of them was summoned in by name. And Ayesha stands at the carousel not knowing whether she should laugh or cry...
At 16:47 Aisha was still at the carousel.
At 16:59 officer Adva came down with some soldiers and told me that I am not allowed to be in the room... I told her she was wrong and sat down while she was whispering to the soldiers.
At 17:00 my correspondence and updates with DCO’s head ended with his statement: "You have reached the stage where you are disrupting."
Aisha returned to her seat and waited for the officer’s words.
Officer Adva of course spoke with someone who sat at the first row and was the noisier and didn’t notice or know that Ayesha is next - until I told her.
17:20 in the evening a Palestinian snuck in under the exit fences. Adva caught him and took his ID card. We are trying to check the legality of it - I managed to get Danny who said that Adva surely called the police...
Meanwhile, they let in about four people from all the waiting people – and yes, at 17:30 Ayesha came out with the magnetic card.
A long hour divided her from her relative while all kind of people were receiving magnetic cards and I will never know for sure who and why.
Police arrived quickly, the policeman spoke Arabic and by the little I heard the Palestinian explained that he has been trying to get the magnetic card since four o'clock in the morning and only in his desperation tried to enter the windows from behind. He expressed regret and to the delight of all present he received his identity card and left - maybe next week he will get the magnetic card.
Between four to six o'clock 22 people came out with magnetic cards. They all had numbers lower than 90.
At 4 a message was delivered that anyone whose number is over 120 will not be accepted.
Dozens of people who need magnetic cards come back week after week attempting to get this card so that they can go on with their daily lives.
I was particularly touched by a young man in his early 30s who came out disappointed, on the verge of tears: “I am from Bethlehem; on Monday I came they told me to come on Wednesday. Today I came they told me to come on Monday - can you help me? "
I don’t know what hurt more the solidarity or my incompetence in face of this reality.