Salem DCO: Impermeable today

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Hannah H. and Neta G. Marcia L., Translation

The extensive breaches in the separation fence obviate, to a large degree, our need for official checkpoints.  However, because of the hardships the Palestinians continue to go through, we decided to go to the Salam Checkpoint to find out what else we could do in our observations. A District Coordination Liaison Office (DCO) and a military court is situated there.

In retrospect, that day wasn’t a good choice because, during the night, it appears there was a military action in Jenin, and all the soldiers, armed with military equipment and vehicles, returned to their bases via the checkpoint.  Therefore, at the entrance to the DCO (on the Palestinian side), there were no Palestinians (not for trials nor for other issues). In the morning, there were no legal proceedings at all.  A lawyer who came for a hearing was not allowed to enter the area of the DCO and was told to call in the afternoon.  Even so, it was impossible to speak with those waiting at the entrance of the DCO because the entrance gate, which itself is a fence on the Palestinian side, is near the vehicle checkpoint (here in the photo).

We tried to get information about phone numbers and other names of those responsible from the soldiers on guard at the entrance (on the Israeli side), but they refused to answer us.  We called the number for public inquiries of the Central Command, *4943.  We spoke with the clerk in charge of public relations who claimed that for the courts, we could come only in coordination via the spokesperson of the organization. 

As for the entrance to the DCO, we had to request that by calling the DCO at another number.  We called there and were told that we first need a permit from the Coordination and Liaison Administration.

The DCO and the separation fence are both at the border of the Israeli village of Salam.  We know there are also breaches in the fence there and many workers cross every morning. They are then picked up in vehicles within the village.  Recently, at the Salam-Megiddo junction, at the entrance to the Wadi Ara road, a military vehicle is stationed there (especially on Sundays), to check permits of Palestinian passengers.

ניסינו לקבל אינפורמציה על מספרי טלפון ושמות האחראים מהחיילים ששמרו בכניסה  (בצד הישראלי), אבל הם סרבו לענות לנו. התקשרנו למוקד פניות הציבור של פיקוד מרכז  4943 * , דיברנו עם הפקידה הממונה על קשרי חוץ, שטענה כי לבתי המשפט אנו יכולות להגיע רק בתיאום ולכניסה למת"ק עלינו לפנות למת"ק בטלפון אחר. התקשרנו, אך במת"ק נאמר לנוו שצריך קודם אישור של מנהלת התיאום והקישור...

המת"ק וגדר ההפרדה נמצאים בגבול הכפר הישראלי סאלם, ידוע לנו שגם שם יש פרצות בגדר ופועלים רבים עוברים בהן כל בוקר ונאספים על ידי רכבים בתוך הכפר. לאחרונה, בצומת סאלם-מגידו בכניסה לכביש ואדי ערה עומדת (בעיקר בימי ראשון) ניידת משטרה שבודקת אישורים של נוסעים פלסטינים.