Al Nashshash, Beit 'Inun, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 8.9.08, Morning
06:45 AM, Bethlehem Checkpoint (Rachel): Four positions open. Thin lines. Two men returned because their palm prints are not enough. When one tries to argue, the soldier comes out of the emplacement with his weapon, and shouts: “Go home! We asked a few people coming out and they said that the entrance to the terminal is almost empty. They think that some people aren’t coming because of Ramadan. Whatever – transit today was easy.
07:30 AM, Husan: We took powers of attorney in order to get someone a printout from the police computer. Again it is happening because they did not get the correct information from a policeman at the DCO. Is he police blacklisted because he was caught going to work, in which case he should be given the file number, or is he blacklisted under the “Inspector General’s criteria.” it should be noted that the print out from the police computer does not mention the possibility of the “criteria so, if the printout does not say that he has an open file, then he is blacklisted under the criteria, and must go again to the policeman at the DCO to ask until when is his entry limited.
07:45 AM, Nashshash (entry to el-Hader): We gave some advice about police matters.
08:00 AM, Etzion DCL: The people are already in the waiting hall – a hundred men and women (less than last week). Again it is the day in the week when residents of Bethlehem are supposed to get service at the DCO. Again there is no consideration for the list of people in line prepared by the Palestinians. As usual, the first came at four of five in the morning, according to them.
Majadi is number five on the original list. In practice he has become number 66.
Mahmoud is number 24, and has now become 43 – and so on.
After 18:00 I phoned some people. Mahmoud got a magnetic card. Majadi and Ibrahim (number 83) were told to come tomorrow. According to them, the DCO was closed as 17:00, and they had ionly seen up to number 45. Today (Tuesday) Ibrahim phoned to ask advice. He was at the DCO and they hadn’t given him a number. I advised him to go home and come again on Monday.
I phoned Majadi: he had received number 80 and had left the DCO intending to return at 15:00. Next week, we will tell you whether Ibrahim and Majadi got their cards.
08:30 AM, Beit Omer: We gave advice about the police to a number of people.
09:00 AM, Beit 'Inun: As is known, a year or more ago Hana Barag sent my protest letter to Michael Eitan, to the commanding general’s office and apparently to other important people. This is the problem: Route 60 bisects Beit Anoun with a block on each side. There is also a school on each side – one for boys, the other girls. And so many score children cross the road every day. Students from Hebron and other pedestrians also cross. There is no need to describe the speed of cars, settler and Palestinian, on Route 60.
Hana requested that something be done about a crossing. Everyone promised, all understood the situation and how terrible it was that while especially the children have to cross the road all the important people can sleep at night. After nine or ten months, a lamp post was placed, as the forerunner of its brother to be put on the other side of the road. The brother has not yet appeared. And then, suddenly, the lamp flickered to tell drivers to pay attention to pedestrians crossing the road. After two weeks of flickering, it stopped. We continued to visit the lamppost every week, and this week we noticed that its head had been removed. Now no one can even guess that there was a lamp intended as a traffic signal. Now it just looks like a pole stuck by the roadside for an unclear reason.
We photographed the girls crossing the road between the cars flying past as usual, but I lack the qualifications to send the photos by email.
09:30 AM, Nebi Younes: A police blacklistee sends with us a payment to Advocate Tamir so that he should start proceedings. The man falls into the “criteria” category, and the only way out of that is to write letters to everyone who matters for some months. If that does not help, as usual, then the next step is the High Court of Justice. This is a process that lasts a year or two with an uncertain ending.
10:00 AM, Etzion DCL again: The process of seeing people progresses lackadaisically. The hall is full of people, standing and sitting. Quite a few men and women have been added, even though they have been told that no more numbers will be given today, but they still stay to try their luck.
I phoned the policeman’s office and his cell phone. There was no answer. For a man who asked to clarify whether he could come today to get vouchers for fines, we phoned then told him to try tomorrow, and phone the policeman at the DCL before bothering to come.
For the many earlier years, they did not give magnetic cards to people blacklisted by Shabak or the police. In the last three months they have distributed a new kind of card (accounting for the pressure at Etzion and other DCLs). It is now clear that many people get, despite their blacklisting. These people get magnetic cards, convinced that they are no longer blacklisted, make the effort to find employers, who go to the bother of requesting permits and only then find that they are blacklisted. Now they must return to the DCL, sit a whole day and sometimes longer, in order to ask whether they are Shabak blacklisted or police. Sometimes the soldier only says: come back in a week or another month.
Sometimes he says: “You are blacklisted – go home!”
Occasionally he says: “You are Shabak blacklisted or police blacklisted.”
And sometimes the unbelievable happens, and the soldier writes (!) On the magnetic card request form “Shabak blacklisted” or “police blacklisted.” If the soldier also says: “Go now to the policeman in the next window” – he is a righteous soldier. If not, the man finds out after a lot of clarifications and thinking, that he must return to the DCL, to the policeman, and ask three questions:
a. do I owe fines?
b. do I have a police file, and if so what is the number and in which police station is it?
c. is there a date when my blacklisting ends (in the case of “criteria” blacklisting).
In the last two weeks, panic stricken people who received magnetic cards have phoned us because an employer hired them only to find out that they were blacklisted. Hana Barag sent a letter requesting that the DCL commander will tell people, as soon as they get a card, whether they are blacklisted, and if so in what category. She also requested again that there be consideration for the list that the Palestinians draw up themselves in the morning when the DCL opens. Next week, we will report if anything has changed.