The members of MahsomWatch Try to Help the Palestinians Overcome the Hardships Caused by the Checkpoints because of the Soldiers’ and Army’s Contempt for Them as Human Beings. Will They Succeed?
Daphne B. Reporting
On Monday, 23.7.07, in the afternoon, ten workers returning from their jobs in the Jordan Rift Valley settlements to their homes in Tayasir, were asked to descend from the bus and use the pedestrian passage. Usually people crossing to the West Bank are not taken off, as are those who want to cross from the West Bank to the Jordan Valley.
Under the window where the Palestinians hand in their identity papers for checking, there is a kind of slot, and the soldier by way of a joke ordered them to push their papers into the slot (the army contends that he did not order, but the Palestinians did so by themselves, which is not reasonable, because if it was a mistake the soldier could correct long before all ten IDs were inserted).
In any event, all the documents – including work permits, driving licenses, vehicle permits, and magnetic cards that were in the IDs – remained stuck inside the slot.
The army contends that it brought engineering equipment and tried to dismantle the wall, but without success.
The Palestinians were immediately semnt to get new IDs, each of which costs 200 shekels.
The army claims that meanwhile the Civil Administration has ordered the soldiers to pass the workers (until they arrange their IDs) without documents because the soldiers have the list of their names at the checkpoint. But the army did not bother to inform the workers, and they are sitting at home and not working since the incident. These are poor families and the financial expense that has been caused them is a tough blow for them and their families, even without considering the loss of livelihood.
From tomorrow, following our intervention, so I hope, then can pass at Tayasir without IDs, but in the morning they usually cross at Hamra which opens at 03:30, and if they pass at Tayasir which opens at 05:00 – they lose a half day’s work and fall into the hot hours (their work is in the sun in the fields of Beit Haarava). All their friends have chosen to wait with them and cross later at Tayasir.
I will report the ongoing saga tomorrow.
Four days later
This morning, a bus full of workers (52 men) left at a late hour for work, so that the men without IDs can cross at Tayasir, and – there is no list! All the pleas did not help – and 10 workers returned home!!!
The army now says “there is a list, but it is at the DCO, not the checkpoint.” The army contends that the list cannot reach the checkpoint (which is, after all, on another continent) within one day, and this after they said that the list is already at the checkpoint – and four days have already passed.
For the workers, in the trap, there is no possibility to take a permit or complain to the police, because they cannot cross the checkpoint without their IDs.
I am now trying to persuade the DCO to transfer the permits to take IDs to their work foremen.
More to come...