Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Mon 7.9.09, Morning

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Chaya O., Ada G. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

07.00 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: five inspection stations are open, and few people pass through. There is heavy pressure on the Palestinian side and we hear excited and angry voices. According to the Palestinians, many people are waiting there. We hear the policeman give an order not to allow anyone to pass. A policeman and and security guards are patrolling on the bridges over the checkpoint with drawn weapons, and they are shouting. The security guards say that the metal detector is broken. Really ?

A representative of the administrative office thinks that the (operation of the) checkpoint is satisfactory.

One of the Ecumenical volunteers tells us that the humanitarian crossing was closed in the morning, the metal detector didn't work, and only after some time the third crossing was opened. He stressed that the Palestinians are never informed what is happening, what is closed, what is out of order, and so-on; the guards just shout and threaten, and don't explain anything.
1,927 people had crossed by 07.00, according to the ecumenical representatives.


08.00 AM, Etzion DCL: the DCL is open, and a few people are waiting. Today, the policeman is in the office.


08.30 AM, Beit Ummar: we distributed documents.


09.00 AM, Nabi Yunis: the road to Nabi Yunis is beautiful as usual, the grapes are ripening and the people are working. How much will they succeed to sell ? People bring us their problems with the police.

I want to ask you to help me to resolve a dilemma: A Palestinian wants to pay driving violation fines which he received before the year 2000, and we bring him payment vouchers and forms for rescheduling his debts from the centre for collecting fines in Jerusalem. The man tells us that he is on the GSS-refused list because his brother was shot by the army. We know from our experience that, because of this, even if he pays his debt he won't receive an entry permit to work in Israel.

What should we tell the man :
a. not to pay because it will be a waste of his money ?

b. to leave him with a shred of hope that he might receive a permit ?

c. what about our honesty in relation to Israeli law ?