Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL
Bethlehem, Etzion 19 April,
06.30 a spring morning greets us. There is more pressure than usual next to the transport vehicles on the road near the checkpoint. Apparently there are not enough transport vehicles or they are delayed and the delay to work stresses everyone. The interior path leading to the checkpoint is clean, for a change. People greet us and smile, short small talk between a paper coffee cup and the umpteenth cigarette of today.
Like last Sunday, and unlike most of our shifts here at this time, there are not many people in the hall, which is the last stop on the way to the Israeli side. 6 windows are open and the passage is quick and quiet.
06:50 the flow of people does not change and therefore two windows close as does the mobile partition. Probably on the Palestinian side, too, there aren’t many people. We know many of the people who pass; some even have a small talk with us, other raise their problem or their relatives’ problem and ask for help solving it.
07:30 - We leave toward DCL.
07.50 There are a few cars in the parking lot. The door to the hall is already open despite the early hour. Here too not many people are waiting, the ticketing machine is operating, the bureaucratic hammer of the occupation is working as usual... in the next hour and a half about 15 men turned to us, who sought to clarify their situation, given the fact that they have no work permit or they had one that was taken away from them for no reason they can understand.
We filled for them power of attorney for Sylvia, so that she could get the required information about them. One of the men brought the required paperwork and we filled for him an application form to remove the restriction from entering Israel (detailing the background and the reasons for the request) and he is supposed to submit it to the soldier at the window at DCL. It is unclear if the application was accepted. DCL Etzion makes it very difficult to submit applications even if the paperwork is perfect; as far as we know there are no officers today at DCL. A. the Deputy Liaison Officer left and M. the Liaison Officer is on leave. If the application was accepted, we will find out for them if they were granted the removal of the restriction so that they can go out and support their families, or if they were rejected. If they were rejected they could apply again in a year (or at best in 3-6 months).
A week ago the bathroom at DCL was locked. We spoke with DCL and they promised to open but in one of them the key broke in the lock. They promised it would be fixed.
This week, one of the toilets is still locked. They couldn’t yet get a worker who would replace the lock…