A bad day
10:40 it’s been a long time since there was such a bad day. Bad for a few dozens of people who sat and waited in the hall and were not let in. They all came to get or renew a magnetic card without which there is no way to get an entry permit to Israel and pass through the checkpoints. Today is the only day they have set for getting the card. So they came in droves. Some said they arrived as early as six AM and waited outside till the waiting room was opened. When they entered, they received the first numbers that the loudspeaker is supposed to summon inside. A woman, who came later, showed us the number she received: 53. But the loudspeaker did not make a sound and the happy few who held the first numbers were not called. When we arrived, the hall was full but no one was let in. We called to find out why people who were waiting since morning were not let in. The officer said that there is a technical problem and it is being handled. We asked him to inform the waiting people, but our request was not granted.
At 11.50 we were told that the technical problem was fixed, but to our chagrin, they did not begin to let people in. The large crowd waited. Among those waiting was a young couple with a child of about two years. We saw that the father tried to entrain the toddler so that he’d behave, but it was clear that his patience will soon expire. We also saw a woman holding a baby-girl 6 months old, alert and active, but it was clear that her patience as well was about to expire. We asked the officer to let in the children's families. The officer agreed. He asked for the parents’ entry numbers, we sent their numbers (31 and 63) and they were let in. But the adult audience had to continue the wait. We tried to speed up the process to no avail. About 40 men and women were still waiting. We waited with them.
Before we left at 14:00 number 29 was let in! We asked one of the waiting people to inform us when he was let in. He did not contact us. He probably was not let in after waiting the entire day. A bad day.
In the hours we waited some people summoned by GSS arrived and some were immediately invited inside and other GSS prevented consulted with us about how to lift the prevention. Some people who requested a permit were let in. An elderly man approached us and said he received an entry permit for his sick daughter so that she could be hospitalized in a Jerusalem hospital.