Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Thu 12.2.09, Afternoon

Shulamit S. Yael S. (reporting)

 Etzion DCL, today, we arrived before 12.00:   the new chairs in the waiting room are still covered in cellophane, and they look more inviting than the old chairs.   Congratulations .

 Only about five people were waiting for magnetic cards, and another two for the GSS. We again encountered a man who urgently needed to be in Jordan. He was allowed to leave for Jordan to accompany his mother, who has a heart disease, to the hospital. However, he was also summoned to appear at the GSS office on that day. The man returned from Jordan and then went to the GSS office.   

What is the procedure for someone whom the GSS prevents from going to Jordan ? 

1.         He must go to the Israeli Civil Administration office. If the soldiers there send him to the Palestinian Administration office, they are just harassing him, and ask him to fill-in an application form to clarify the reasons for his request, and he has to produce documents which prove the reasons for it. For example, in his case to prove that his mother really is his mother, that she is ill, and that she is in Jordan.

2.        He must meet the military authorities to clarify the reasons for the GSS prevention. 

3.         The military authorities will express their opinion and will decide whether to let the man leave for Jordan. This procedure may take up to six weeks.
4.         If his request is not approved, he must wait for a year and then try again, or he can apply     to the High Court. 

Shocking ?

His mother may be deceased and not diseased (with her heart).
Another annoying thing that happened today:  a woman of Russian origin and a Palestinian ID requested the issue of a magnetic card for her. The soldier in charge of the entry of applicants into the offices decided that no more magnetic cards will be issued today. When I approached him, he told me “You can speak to my superiors”.  I managed to speak to the head of the Civil Administration office, but before they answered the woman angrily threw her ID on the floor, cursed several times and stormed out of the building. Her companion – perhaps her husband – picked up her things from the floor.

There is also the problem with the issuing of work permits.  I am still trying to find out  what should be the true cost of the employment office services and how much are the workers forced to pay to their employers illegally and unethically for their right to work.

This is a really difficult and problematic subject.  

 It was really quiet at Rachel’s crossing, after there were long hold-ups from 08.00 to10.00 .