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Shlomit S., Ora A. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?


Etzion DCL, 14:15 PM:   at the booth we saw a male soldier and a female soldier, both smiling and cordial to the Palestinians and admitting them into the offices. At 14:20 three Palestinians were leaving with their magnetic cards. They claimed to have arrived at 7:00, and that at noon there was a two-hour break that had left the Palestinians unattended throughout. Within, some 15 people were waitingand a further dozen were in the waiting-hall. One person claimed this was his and his wife's fourth attempt at the DCL and finally his wife was now admitted. By 14:50 six people had come out of the offices and 15 were admitted (including the wife of the above-mentioned 4-time applicant).

At 15:30the activity came to a halt and for 40 minutes no one appeared. We called the Humanitarian Hotpoint and activity was resumed. A person who had come out estimated the number of people waiting inside at 25. The DCL continued to operate beyond the usual 17:00. Two more people arrived then and were attended to. Yet another magnetic card applicant arrived and the smiling girl soldier admitted him too. Until nearly 19:00 people were being served efficiently at a fine pace.

One of the Palestinians approached us: he was denied a permit to accompany his 6-month old babyinfo-icon daughter scheduled for heart surgery on the following day at the Wolfson Hospital. Though he is a Shabak-refusee he had been approved and received a two-week permit for an earlier date but surgery was then postponed due to the Doctors' strike and he was now seeking a renewal of the permit. Since his wife, who stays with the baby at the hospital, does not speak Hebrew, he was very worried. We called and were told that the matter was being considered. He waited until nearly 19:00 and was told to return home and would be called there. At 7:30am he called us to say that he still had no news. Our call to the DCL was replied affirmatively: the permit had indeed been issued the night before but had been misplaced or they had just forgotten to notify the father...