Not very many people were waiting at the CP on Monday afternoon. The candy-seller told us that nothing out of the ordinary had occurred during the day. Two passageways were active with only a few people in each one. We were told that the DCO had closed at 4 PM.
But suddenly a nervous young man appeared and told us that he absolutely must enter the DCO offices where permits to enter Jerusalem were waiting for him, his wife and his son. His 12 year old son had been called to present himself on Tuesday morning at Augusta Victoria Hospital after being diagnosed with intestinal bleeding. The father said that he had gone to the Palestinian DCO immediately after receiving the papers from the hospital on Sunday. The Palestinians told him to pick up his permits at Qalandiya on Sunday afternoon, but when he came to get the permits he was told to come back on Monday morning and when he came on Monday morning he was told to come back Monday afternoon. The poor anxious man had been racing back and forth to the CP until he met up with us. Headquarters told us that there was no one on duty at the DCO, so Hannah called Hanna Barag while I got in line in Passageway 4 in order to talk to the soldiers in the “aquarium”. The soldiers said they would let the man into the DCO offices, but only when they finished taking care of all the people waiting in line (5 or 6) to enter Jerusalem. They were not at all concerned that the last soldiers on duty in the DCO might leave before then. But Hanna Barag spoke to someone and shortly thereafter the father was allowed into the waiting shed together with a young woman who had also come for a permit. The shed was empty, as were the DCO offices (we peeked through the windows), but there must have been people somewhere inside the compound as a soldier suddenly emerged, collected the ID cards of the two waiting for permits and disappeared again. In short, after half an hour the young woman received her permit but the father was told to come back on Tuesday morning in order to receive the permits he’d requested.
We spoke to him this morning. He finally received the permits but had had to wait in the long lines of people entering Jerusalem. The son finally reached the hospital at 12 noon although his appointment had been set for 9 AM.