DCO Etzion - How many problems can one hear in one hour

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Shlomit Steinitz, Natanya Ginsburg

Today was one of the worst days that we can remember at the DCO….   From the moment we arrived, we were inundated with questions. Shlomit says how many problems can one hear in one hour.

But  the saddest and most difficult was with a young couple in their 20s who have a little boy of five who is handicapped in every way. They are from Um tuba. He is retarded both mentally and physically and suffers from a disease, Sotos (Rare genetic syndrome).

The mother says he is the only person in Israel who has this disease (According to Google, there are 50 such patients in Israel)

And this is the letter which the family were given by Hadassah   please read the last paragraph in English and Hebrew

The child is on oxygen which is supplied by Yad Sarah. At least one good thing we do.  The child had been at Hadassah the previous day. He has to be under constant supervision because as soon as the oxygen begins to run out, they have to get to Hadassah hospital. The father is from the occupied areas and the mother who is from the area of Zur Bachar is prevented by the GSS. Ok, you don’t have to believe her that she does not know why. Maybe she did something, maybe it is because of someone in the extended family whom she does not know, maybe as we always tell the Palestinians…because the army and the IDF can do so. A sentence that is an answer for all seasons.

The officer inside demanded that the hospital gives a definite date and we ask ….how is the family expected to know when the oxygen will run out. Is there no one there in those bureaucratic and autistic offices who can read that the hospital is asking that the father at least be given an open permit to enter Israel as soon as this happens That it is an emergency? Is there a reason why A. who is supposed to help us does not reply to an SMS and it is now so organized that we cannot know if he received it? Is there a reason why he does not answer our phone calls? We have never written this before but to see the anxiety of this young couple and not to be able to help them…the woman said, “The soldiers are having their lunchtime break”. But why not ….forces which have caused the death of two old men…why should they care about a young child. The army has long since lost any semblance of humanity and this is written hoping it will be printed as we write it. Where is the Israel and the people we dreamed of? Why bother with stories of the KGB and hidden prisons. Why do you need a prison when you can hold people in captivity without making it historically so grim while pretending to be the “most enlightened”   army in the world.

We gave Hanna Barag all the details concerning the family and she would see what she could do about it.

But to go back to the other “minor" problems of the day. And remember that, even if it is not the problem of the life and death of a child, to the people who turn to us this is their daily torturous lives

The man who lives in Yatta had ordered a caravan for the municipality at Yatta which is in the area. we understood that it was to be used as an office for the municipality. The lorry bringing the caravan was traveling near Carmel on road 356  and both the truck and the container were confiscated by the Civil Administration …why? Because they can do it. We gave him a few numbers and told him to pay the fine for the confiscation ASAP as each day the fine increases. But this seems to be happening more and more. Last week a bugger and a tractor which were being transported on a truck were also confiscated with no explanation being made. It seems as if this is the latest thing. To stop vehicles that are transporting goods and to confiscate. We had the same complaint last week about a tractor and a bugger which had been confiscated while on the road.

A man has come in with papers for his land which has to be renewed. He is from Yatta near Givat Maon.  He has a problem with settlers who stop them from reaching their lands and have also uprooted olive trees. Hagit Ofran gave us the telephone of a lawyer who deals with lands in the area of Hebron. The lawyer,   a member of the rabbis for human rights, Kamar Mashraki,  Telephone 0508283106

A young couple who wish to get married. The woman is from Beit Jala and is prevented GSS. She does not know why. The man is from Jerusalem and the woman has to appear before the religious  Moslem court in Jerusalem on the 24th of February.   He applied for a permit for her 12 days ago and has not received a reply. We left before he came out of the offices but told him that if he was refused he should make an appointment for another day and he should go in two weeks before the time.

This is besides the usual problems of those who were prevented from passing the checkpoints because they have suddenly become prevented by various problems and whom we referred to Sylvia.

And we returned home both of us feeling that we are revolted by what Israel has become as represented by the army, the police, the Civil Administration, and the government which is behind all this.