Etzion DCL: The occupation is not going anywhere

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Chana Stein (translating), Ronit Dahan-Ramati (reporting and pictures)

11.15. The parking lot was full, and there were men and equipment paving some roadway, apparently enlarging the lot. The pipe bringing water to this work was attached to the tap in the women’s toilets.  Lucky that there is now running water!

The waiting-room was not full. There were many empty seats. The screen showed only numbers for magnetic cards (no.54 when we arrived). Passage was relatively reasonable, reaching no. 70 by 12 o’clock.  Every now again people were called, either by name or number, to enter.  Those entering, on the whole, had come for permits or to meet General Security; most of the people were waiting  for magnetic cards. We haven’t yet understood the system according to which people enter.

We met a couple speaking to each other in English. We learned that they are married – she, Israeli; he, Palestinian. He was caught with her in Tel Aviv, and is now banned from entry. We advised him to get from the policeman a document telling till when he is banned and what files are held against him.

At 12 the soldiers went off for a lunch break, so we left a short while after. We met the couple in their car outside. The man showed us the police document which stated that he had already been judged and indicted and would be banned for a few more months. We advised him, under the circumstances, the simplest solution would be to wait until the ban expires. Requests to the police to shorten a ban are usually refused, and anyway the process takes a long time. His ban would probably by over beforehand. When his ban is over he can ask for a visiting permit and work permit. He is still too young to ask for family re-unification. The important thing is not to be caught again without a permit. He explained that meanwhile they are living with his own family and he does not enter Israel.

Outside the first stage of the new paving is done, and the workers are taking a break. We wondered why there were pillars at each side (In the picture we see one on the left; there is another on the right). Will they close the entrance to the new lane ?