Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Mon 14.6.10, Morning
7.00 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: again the passage was very smooth. Our same informant as last week said that this was not typical and during the last week there had been some very difficult days. (We arranged with her that we would contact her during the week to try to get some idea of why conditions varied so from day to day.) Her report was confirmed later for us at Etzion (see below).
We stopped at El Khader and Husan, but there were no clients.
7.45 AM, Etzion DCL: a number of people were waiting for the DCL to open (which it did on time), mostly to get magnetic cards.
Two men approached us. Last Tuesday conditions at Bethlehem had been very bad and they, among others, scuffled and tried to avoid the queue. For this (as punishment? to ‘educate' them?) they had their permits taken away and were told to come back for them on Sunday! This meant, of course, no work for them all this time. On Sunday they were told to return today, Monday. On Monday, their permits were not at the Bethlehem checkpoint and they were sent to Etzion. While we were waiting for the Etzion office to open, the commander from Bethlehem arrived in a tender with a batch of confiscated permits - but those of these two men were not among them. The commander said he would check. We meanwhile continued our travels but said we would be in contact. At 9.30 AM the men told us that they had to go to the Palestinian DCL to get their permits. Later in the day, one of the men told Chaya that his own permit which had only another two weeks to go, had now been renewed for the coming six months! His colleague was found to be on the security ‘refused' list. Meanwhile, what about the owners of those other permits? Do they know where and how to claim them?
8.30 AM, Beit Ummar: a man from Zurif, whose nephew was taken away a month and a half ago, is still trying to send him money (for canteen, etc.) but still does not know where he is. We gave him phone numbers - ours, Moked and El Asir.
A man showed us a police car report (his car had been found faulty, but he then had it repaired and passed the test). He has a 1000 shekel fine and hoped we could get it reduced for him.
Chaya found out that the 15 year-old boy who had been taken in the middle of the night last week, returned home after 2 nights. Is this now a regular rite of passage?
9.00 AM, Nabi Yunis: one man asks us for help in the hope of reducing a 2004 traffic fine.
A phone call from a man who could not get through a checkpoint to be able to give us money for Sylvia. We had to postpone our meeting till next week.
An elderly woman had two requests: She needs building permission to extend her home - and is also trying to find who was responsible for her son's death five years ago. We referred her to B'tselem.
Two men signed powers of attorney to enable us to check their police report.
A man who has been refused for years an American visa because of some crime long ago thought we might help him, but we explained this was out of our power.
A man needs to get his unpaid salary from an employer in Beth Hanina so will try for a one-day pass.
We gave Sylvia's phone number to a man who is on the security refused list.