Etzion DCO: Few people but many problems

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Shlomit Steinitz, Natanya Ginsburg (reporting)

 10.30 - 12.00 

Not many people, but still there are problems.  Even if we do not really solve anyone’s problems but just advise them, they often come up as we are leaving to say thank you. We have the feeling that even though we usually cannot help - we leave Palestinians feeling that at least some Israelis know and care about the  situation of the average Palestinian. In one case we heard a man explaining to his friend that we were foreigners, and we hastened to explain that we are Israelis from Jerusalem but that there are Israeli women like us all over the country who go to various checkpoints, villages and  DCO’s to see if we can help, and that even if we cannot help, we write reports that are posted on the internet and go to other human rights organizations. This way Israelis and the world hear what is happening.

We saw many older men with their land ownership documents go in to the DCO.

In the meantime, the woman’s toilet is still locked. The information we got from the cleaner was varied and strange.

1. No women come to the DCO. Absolute nonsense.

2. It is locked so that men will not use it as that is forbidden

3. And probably true. There is a problem with the plumbing. This is the story of the past three weeks. Shlomit left N., our helpful captain, a message.

We met a man of 65 whose “blacklisted" status ended this month. He had entered Israel without permit several times looking for work. He walks with a stick with difficulty. One can only wonder how much of a security risk he could be. We explained to him and also had someone explain to him in Arabic that he would have to wait until the order was removed from the computer but he seemed to have difficulty understanding. Sometimes it seems that the people feel that if they explain the problem again and again we will eventually be able to do something about it. We advised him that if after a month it still appeared on the computer he should speak to Sylvia.

A man told us of his wife who had been having fertility treatments which cost him 100,000 shekel and nothing helped. He wants to try for a second opinion in Israel. But he is prevented from entering Israel as he has to be there with his wife. N. Said he would come down and speak to him and see what he could do. The fact that N. speaks excellent Arabic is a great help.

We left without knowing the outcome or seeing N.  but at least with the feeling that they would be listened to patiently and that N. do whatever he could to help.

A young man of 29 wants to go to Jordan but is prevented from going overseas. We gave him Sylvia’s phone number.