Etzion DCO: They confiscated his phone and will not return it

Shlomit Steinitz, Natanya Ginsburg (report and photos)

DCO Etzyon
June 23, 2021

A Palestinian man approached us with his friend and between my broken Arabic and his awkward attempts to translate for us, we understood that the Israeli Security Services came to his friend’s home, at night as usual (for the third time, already) and demolished it. He himself is blacklisted from entering Israel and spent time in jail for over 2 years for unclear reasons. The GSS people beat his brother when they mistook him for the wanted brother. Only after he was shackled did they let his brother go. He was hurried off to the GSS, where his very expensive phone was taken from him, only to check what it contains, and they haven’t returned it yet, it’s already been 3 weeks.

He came to the office of the GSS captain, here at Etzyon, did not get his phone back, but was asked to be in touch with them. Don’t hold your breath: various people we consulted in order to help him said he has no chance of getting his phone back, and he better get a new one. There must be many cases like this, just like money that disappears from Palestinian homes in searches, and is never seen again. The question about phones not returned to their owners is whether the army has opened a market for used smart phones and laptops? We tried to call his number but of course the phone was off.

Another person approached us (selling coffee at the checkpoint) who came to arrange a permit for himself to stay at his sister’s side in Jerusalem’s Augusta Victoria Hospital where she is to undergo surgery. She will have to spend some months there. The problem is that he is blacklisted, so prevented from entering Israel. Someone asked him to pass on a document to someone else, and apparently the document was forged. Perhaps his involvement in the matter is what prevents him from getting to his sister. He says he is a member of “Roots” and wishes the police could take care of his matter, hoping to receive an answer within a few days. (

A third person presented his problem to us. He was driving a car that was on the road illegally. He was forbidden to drive for 3 months, the car was confiscated and in order to get it back he paid 5,000 NIS. He had a trial and was fined 1,500 NIS. His lawyer said he had to pay 200 NIS at the police station in order to get his license back. He came to the DCO today to find out with the police if this were true. The man has 5 kids in Hebron and cannot afford to live in Jerusalem so he does not receive the monthly pension from the Israeli Social Security authorities.

אדם שלישי הציג בפנינו את הבעיה שלו. הוא נהג במכונית שלא היה לא רישיון להיות על הכביש. נשפט ונידון למניעת נהיגה במשך שלושה חודשים, המכונית הוחרמה וכדי לפדות אותה הוא שילם 5,000 שקלים. כמו כן נקנס ב-1,500 שקל.
לפי עצת עורך דינו היה  עליו לשלם 200 שקלים בתחנת המשטרה כדי לקבל את הרישיון שלו בחזרה. הוא הגיע היום כדי לברר במשטרה אם זה נכון. לאדם יש חמישה ילדים בחברון והוא לא יכול להרשות לעצמו לגור בירושלים ולכן הוא לא מקבל את הקצבה החודשית מהמוסד לביטוח לאומי לילדים.