Beit Ummar, Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL, Mon 6.2.12, Morning
7:00 Bethlehem – Checkpoint 300: everyone we asked said that conditions were good because of the particular officer in charge. An international observer told us that there were crowds early in the morning on the Bethlehem side and that the humanitarian gate opened only at 5.30 when this officer arrived. Since then passage had been smooth.
Four checking booths were functioning and busy. Suddenly there were shouts of ‘Boy! Boy!’ - and a soldier and guard went rushing out. They brought back a young boy who had somehow slipped through with his adult companion (father?) . He did not have a 'hushan' (permit) and they were both sent back.
A woman was calling desperately, waving a ‘teudat ma’avar’ (laissez passer). She said she used this every day but today she was not allowed through. Her document was taken upstairs to be studied and then returned, but she was not allowed through. We tried to approach her to see the document but were prevented by the guard. This time, instead of violence, the authorities used what can only be called a ‘price-tag.’, (though the officer didn’t like our calling it that) – i.e., they stopped checking for a while. Chaya phoned the 'Moked' (central office). Whether because of this call or not, after about 5 minutes another officer came and the checking resumed. We were told that all those apologies of two weeks ago were not about our permission to be there but simply because of the physical violence used against Chaya.
8:08 Etzion DCL: fifteen men were already inside the office, all applying for magnetic cards. We gave our phone number in case they had problems being admitted.
Chaya phoned, as usual, to check if police-men were on duty at various DCL’s, as she was in phone contact with a number of people who had to visit Etzion, Hebron, Beit-El and Tul-Qarem. Throughout the week there would be complications and absences because of illnesses and police force activities. Through regular checking, Chaya directed the various clients to their destinations.
8:40 Beit Ummar: a man, refused by Security, wanted a special permit to reach the Hadassah Hospital to visit his father-in-law who is terminally ill. He was sent to the Etzion DCL but we gave him also Hanna Barag’s number in case he would be refused the permit.
2 more customers – one had paid a traffic fine but still had no license. He was sent to check with the police. The other said he was refused but had no documents to show us, so he arranged to meet again next week.
9:12 Nabi Yunis: one man showed us his documents and found out that he was now a 'clear' case. Next week he will bring his brother’s papers and fees. Unfortunately they did not submit their appeals together, which involves them now in higher expenses.
A man paying a fine in installments – but meanwhile he still has no permit. Only after the final payment will he get one (is this a new procedure?)
Meanwhile a number of calls came in – people asking for progress reports on their cases, or new cases of refused permits, and checking whether police were available at the various offices.