Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Thu 14.8.08, Afternoon
(We moved our shift to Thursday pm because ”granny” Yael was looking after her vacationing grandchildren). Etzion DCL: The computers which control the production of magnetic cards had not been functioning since the morning hours. At first it was possible only to renew cards, but at noon the technician who tried to repair the fault succeeded in bringing the computers completely to a standstill, so there won’t be any more magnetic cards today.
The people from the surrounding villages can return in a week’s time to try their luck again, and - who knows - maybe the computers will be working then. Of course, someone who has a work permit but no updated magnetic card will lose another week’s work.
The computers at the Etzion DCL breaks down all the time, and today, the soldiers at least benefited from an early release before the week-end : by 3pm they were already free to go home. People who had been summoned by the GSS waited from the morning. One of them was a woman, who believed that if she could only speak to captain Nimmer, her prohibition would be lifted and she would again be able to visit Jerusalem. There was also a woman whose husband had been injured in a work accident. He was hospitalized in Hadassah hospital, and the civil administration had rejected her request to be with him. She had come to the DCL on Monday, Tuesday and also today. A clarification with the health centre revealed that there is already a written request from Hadassah hospital for her to be with her husband.
I tried to explain to Gal, the public complaints officer, that was speaking to the district coordination officer and he sent her inside so that she could submit her request for forwarding to Beit El for clarification. However, the woman was sent away with empty hands. She had tears in her eyes, but I told her that she mustn’t give-up, and I asked Gal again to intervene. Shlomit left a message for the head of the Civil Administration. The DCL was almost closed, and the Palestinian cleaner came to scrub the area which we are forbidden to enter. All the applicants for authorizations (mainly medical ones) who were allowed to enter after our intervention were told to wait beside the gate where the sentry stands. The soldier who came out collected all the requests and returned quite quickly with authorizations for almost everyone. Also he gave a parcel of entry permits to a representative from a religious organization and another parcel for the Palestinian Interior Ministry representative. The brother of the injured man was refused a permit because another brother who was not GSS-denied already has a permit. The woman’s telephone number was noted so that she could be informed when her authorization was received from Beit El. After 8pm I was telephoned by her family, and they said that she had been informed that the permit had been approved. They asked if it was possible to receive the permit at this late hour.