Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 22.6.08, Afternoon
14.30, Etzion DCL: Its hot today; the air-conditioner in the magnificent waiting-room isn’t working – apparently it has run out of gas.
When we arrived, there were about fifty people waiting - similarly to previous weeks - all of them for magnetic-cards. The Palestinians prepared an orderly list of magnetic-card applicants. Gal, the officer in charge of applications was with us on the telephone line for most of our shift – he tried to understand and help. “Maybe they should check who is a GSS-denied person, and release them; it would save them from wasting time.” “From June 1st, magnetic-cards will be also given to GSS-denied people”. He checked and found that this is correct, and that there is a quota for GSS-denied people to receive magnetic-cards, and the quota has been filled today. They should return tomorrow.
Beit Omer: We traveled to Beit Omer to enjoy the abundance of fruit and vegetables in June, and returned at 16:00 when we were told that the District Coordination Office will be closed this week. In the office were Rami, Vahil Kamil’s replacement, and Nevuani, who were hanging up a sign saying that as from tomorrow and until Thursday the office will be closed for issuing magnetic cards. However, permits will apparently still be issued. The soldiers are going to attend a course for improving the service to the Palestinians.
Gal checked and confirmed this.
But why wasn’t the sign prepared and hung up several days ago ? How will the Palestinians who come to apply for magnetic cards before dawn tomorrow find out that their journey has been in vain? They have been informed via the Palestinian Coordination Office, the DCL personnel know about this, and the taxi-drivers will also deliver the message.
We tried to find-out why the GSS denied people are not checked in advance so as to release them sooner. Just as the Civil Administration likes to compare (also the Ministry of the Interior), there is a clerk whose job it is to distribute numbers according to peoples’ requirements, and also to check whether they have all the necessary documents.
Why can’t this be done also at the DCL ? Immediately someone arrives, their ID number should be checked to see whether there is any point in their waiting, and to give them a number so that they can go and eat breakfast or lunch while they are waiting.