Bethlehem

Nov-9-2003
|

Etzion 9.11.2003, 1500 -
1830

M.Z., M.B., T. G., Z. G.

Note about passage permits in the B security zone: verifying with
the IDF spokesman unit Zilli was told that holders of palestinians
ID cards do not need passage permit in the B security zone. (not
cars nor pedestrians). we were promised a written reply to a letter
submitted about the subject. for the information of those who go to
the machsom "container" : there is no need for a special
permit to pass this machsom not for cars nor for pedestrians - this
is a B security zone.

Note about entry permits to the Ramadan prier on friday: in
response to a letter that we have sent in the subject on thursday
Tali (the spokeswoman for Ilan Paz - head of the civilian
administration) said that she still doesn't know what is going to
be the procedure this coming friday. last friday the entry was
permitted based only on personal details & ID card. when asked
how would the palestinians know whethere they a special permit or
not, the answer was"they will know!" when asked who takes
the decision she answered "the order is coming from high
levels" it's important to call her every day until we get an
answer.

I ask for Patience from those who read this report. it is long due
to the need to analise the events & not only report them. the
report has to do with the report of Haya Ofek & her team who
have been to the machsom Etzion in the morning.

subject : systematic abuse through bureaucracy, based on watches
made in machsom Etzion 15.00 - 16.00 & Matak Etzion 16.00 -
18.00

we witnessed for three hours systematic & planned abuse of the
army of a large crowd of palestinians whose everyday life is
completely dependent on the bureaucratic regulations of the army
& the civilian administration.

this bureaucratic system seems neutral & faceless. in fact what
we saw was an intended way of attrition & destroying the
palestinian society by ways of humiliation, waiting by the Matak
counter, come & go policy, dependency on the forms they have to
feel, & new forms all the time, unending permits & planned
ambiguity & vagueness about the rules & regulations. in
fact the suffering of a palestinian who wishes to move from point A
to point B starts long before the machsom. the machsom we stand by
is the revealed top of a long line of hurdles & bureaucratic
blocks they have to pass before even getting to the machsom. it is
impossible not to get to the conclusion that behind the
bureaucratic faceless mechanism can be found the steering hand of a
government aiming to perpetuate the israeli occupation while
destroying systematically the living organism of the palestinian
society! & it's much needed resources. this unsuccessful
management is not unintended, it is meant to strengthen & to
nourish the israeli occupation by destroying the livelihood &
the routine life of the palestinians.

enclosed are described some of the methods used by this
bureaucratic mechanism, which we should notice while we observe the
machsom:

how does the army uses the following tools:

1. adding permits forms & documents needed to pass from place
to the other

2. demand for reasons for applying - medical, commerce,
family

3. the fact that regulations & procedures are becoming more
& more complicated

4. constant change of the regulations & demands while keeping
everything vague

5. lack of ways to pass information to the palestinian society

6. refraining from coordination & "blockades" in
delivering information orders & procedures between the
connected parties in the IDF, starting at the highest level down to
the simplest soldier.

7. empty claims & absurd reasoning of the ones in charge within
the civilian administration in answer to complaints about the
service given to the palestinians.8. the power given to an lowly
administrator, soldier or officer to "reach a decision
according to his common sense" to detain or to let pass a
palestinian at the machsom. to give him a permit or not & so
on. this is a sort of deceit because Israel is committed to ensure
the normal life of the occupied population & nobody deserve a
medal for doing so (as Mia said to the the commander of the
Minhal)

9. boasting or flattery toward us which is another tool aimed to
prevent criticism by civilians.

enclosed are some examples from today:

machsom Etzion:

the soldiers prevented 2 palestinians buses to pass. the buses are
regular on that line & are allowed to go between Hevron &
Beit Lehem. the bus drivers' permits were in order .

the commander on place said : the license numbers of the buses were
not on his list.

as a result all the passengers had to get down, go through a paper
check & get on anther bus that came from the other side &
pay for a new ticket. ( a procedure similar to the unloading back
to back of merchandise). the last people who have checked have
missed the bus. we spoke to the commander of the Matak in place (a
very nice guy who really tried to help), he explained to us that
there is a blockage in the orders transfer system from the
commander of the Etzion division & he's trying to put it right.
in the morning due to his personal handling the bus has passed.
some phone calls by this commander opened this blockade & the
people at the machsom were instructed to let the buses pass. he
said that another bus is supposed to arrive from Hebron & it'll
encounter no difficulties in passing.

the commander of the civilian administration Ilan Paz was supposed
to get to the machsom within an hour. we decided not to wait for
him & moved to Matak Etzion for watching.

Matak Etzion it was 16.00 the counters are supposed to close down
at 17.30, about 70 palestinian males were waiting in front of the
counters. out of 5 counters only 2 were open. one served only to
ask for an automatic magnet card, it should'NT take more than 2
minutes, but nothing was moving, ever so often the clerk closed the
counter with a curtain & disappeared. it was only one hour to
the Ramadan evening meal, but the queue did not move. only after we
spoke with the manager Azhar Ganem did the line start to move. at a
certain moment another counter opened up & was closed again. at
17.15 the magnetic cards counter was shut down. we called Azhar
from a meeting he had with Avi Shalev. Azhar wasn't very pleased
but opened again the counters & even left them open until
17.45. out of the 70 waiting when we arrived only 10 did not get to
the counter.

some statements:

a palestinian who applied foe a permission to enter Jerusalem for a
month for ongoing medical care. he says : "people are waiting
since 0600am in order to get the permits. this can last days. we
may have to come again for the next 2 or 3 days, maybe even one
more week. we asked whethere the Matak doesn't give them the
permission, the man replied that he is getting the permit but only
for one day at a time. this man was among those who got to the
counter before it was closed. the permit he got was valid for one
day only.

another man was waiting since 0545am. he has got a confirmation to
get the magnetic card (a form with his photo & stamps that cost
about 40 NS) he was happy because within a certain period of time
he will receive the magnetic card from the palestinian coordination
& then he will be able to go back to the counter (if he'll
succeed in getting to it) & present a detailed request to get a
specific pass permit. it is probable that he will be asked to
enclose some documents & maybe at the end he will get the
permit he needs.

another man told us he didn't get the permit he applied for. we
wanted to know why & he said he doesn't know, he's been waiting
since the morning & now (afternoon) they'v said it's not
allowed but didn't explain why.

another man said he's been coming here everyday over a week
now.

the commander of the civil administration Azhar Ganem says these
men are lying, they have not been here this morning. Azhar
complained to us that a bus with 50 men arrives at 15.30 or 15.45
& he can not handle all of them is the time that's left until
closing hour.

we asked why don't they open some more counters & he replied
he's short in staff, we'll be blessed according to him if can
arrange for more soldiers.

we wanted to know why don't they leave the counters open later than
17.30 & he replied that it's dangerous as there's no light in
the place (all Matak are obliged to have protected glass in front
of the counter.) he boasted that thanks to him the machsom in Vadi
Nar is open since thursday.

after the counter closed down at 18.00, all vehicles left the area.
it was cold & dark. one man who didn't get to the counter &
didn't get a permission said he is here since 06.00am & has no
idea how he is going to get back to Azaria. he doesn't know how
he's going to pass the machsom & has nowhere to spend the
night.

a doctor who needed a permit for his car to get to the hospital in
Hebron (he used to work in Ichilov) arrived for the fourth time to
the counter & didn't get it this time either because 2 papers
were missing. the last time he came he wasn't told to bring those
papers. they just didn't care. the doctor left empty handed &
we have gone out with very hard feelings.

we should think of special watches to watch what is happening in
the line for permits in the Matakim.

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