All the car parks are filled to bursting, including the one where cars wait with farm produce wrapped in nylon. It is noontime, traffic is mostly pedestrian, and there are many Israeli vehicles too (settlers’, I assume) using the lane which the authorities have designated for them, bound for the Occupied Territories which – according to them – God has designated for them. A van inscribed “…Settlers Committee” is parked next to the bus stop.
Groups of workers who have arrived in their transports walk hastily towards the exit. They never fail to greet me.
And why did I come to this checkpoint at this time of day?
I came to the checkpoint after managing to get hold of the belongings of a person from XXX who had been arrested inside Israel as an illegal alien, was tried and sent back home without his papers and without any of his other belongings he had deposited upon his arrest. On Saturday, March 5, 2016, we (Noa L. and I) were approached by A., who was exiting the checkpoint, and were told as follows: His nephew had been held in custody for three days at the Hadera police station (for being in Israel without a permit). In custody, his documents, phone, magnetic card and money were all taken from him, and he was given a receipt. Three days later he was released but without his belongings. A friend went to the police station to receive them and was sent back empty handed. Now the nephew is without his papers and his other things. We took his data and said we would try to help.
The note he had received was issued at the ‘Eeron police station. After the policeman at the entrance checked the lists he had, he gave me the name of the warden to whom the bag was handed along with the detainee, on their way to the Kishon detention center. When I came there, I was told the bag was held at the treasury of Gilboa prison. Fortunately they also gave me the telephone number there, and I could inquire and understand that according to their notes I must come there with a ‘right of attorney’ signed by a lawyer, the paper I had – signed by the family – would not be enough (this due to the value of the belongings deposited in the bag).
When I received the necessary paper, I drove to Gilboa prison. After the officials there found me and the right of attorney satisfactory, the prison treasurer brought out the bag, had me sign forms, and I could complete my mission.
To my question what would have happened had I not followed this bag - for after all, a Palestinian with no ID or magnetic card, what could he do? How could he venture outdoors? The treasurer said that when several such bags accumulate, the officials return them to the Palestinian police, and there???
At the checkpoint I met the man’s father, who had come to receive the bag.