10:45 the parking lot was full and we barely found a place to park. Outside DCL about 40 people were waiting and a similar number of people were inside. The pace of passage was very slow, and we were told that only one soldier handles those who came for magnetic cards. We tried to involve the Humanitarian Center, but the pace didn’t change. Towards closing time, while many weren’t yet let in, we asked the Humanitarian Center to intervene so that closing time will be later than 12 noon. We asked Hannah to intervene as well. The response was an absolute refusal. Hannah was told that they will try to work faster but will not postpone closing time. We were told that the soldiers have the right to stop working at 12:00!
Is it possible that stopping work early, on a day assigned for the many residents of Bethlehem, is not accidental? Could it be that DCL is intentionally interested in giving as few magnetic cards as possible (without which people can’t get entry permits to Israel) thus decreasing the entry of many people?
One of the people who weren’t let in told us he came to DCL on Monday, the day designated for his area, and waited from morning. At 4 pm they announced that there were no more cards left and ordered people to go home. He explained that it is an emergency and asked permission to come the next day. They agreed and allowed him to come on Wednesday and they wrote on his form that he should be let in without a number. On Wednesday he arrived and waited from 08:00 to 17:00 and was not let in. Today he arrived in the morning and described in detail his experiences to a soldier, but the soldier refused to let him in. He claimed that it is not the day assigned to his area and that one cannot deprive those whose day is today. We called the Humanitarian Center and after a conversation with a polite woman-soldier, the man was let in. At 12:50, when we left, the man was still inside. Let's hope that this time he will get his request.
A man, who received an appointment to arrive on Sunday to Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem, did not get his permit today. Come on Sunday, they told him, although they saw that this is the day he has to get to the hospital! Maybe the man is police restricted, and in any case it is clear that on Sunday he will not get the permit. We advised him to contact the hospital and ask for a new appointment; to submit a new application and take care of police restriction removal (with Haya’s help) and the help of the policeman at DCL. But the truth is it’s hard to meet with this policeman. He is supposed to be in DCL on Thursdays, but he was absent today and last week. Then and today no one bothered to inform those waiting for him that he will not arrive. They waited in vain until closing time.
A young man complained that he was summoned twice already to a meeting with GSS and today is the third time. The two other times he wasn’t let in and was ordered to come again. Today he hopes he will be let in.
Other people who are GSS and police restricted turned to us and we referred them to Sylvia and Hannah.