Al Khader, Beit Omar, Halhul, Nabi Yunis 20/4/ 2015

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Tova Shid. Haya A. (Reporting) Translation: Naomi Gal
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Our regular route Monday mornings is on Route 60, from Jerusalem to the entrance to Halhul (Nabi Younis): 7.30 at the entrance to Husan. 8:00 Nashash \ at the entrance to Al Khader, 8:30 at the entrance to Beit Omar, 9:00 Nabi Yunis\ at the entrance to Halhul, 10:00 Etzion DCL. 
We met at our usual stops people who came to consult with us on matters of police prevention, GSS prevention and other matters. Meaning: prevention from entering Israel for any need.

Among the cases we encountered: 
1. Hazem from Beit Omar said that a few weeks ago they came at night and took his 21-year-old son. He is accused of throwing stones. The son is in Ofer Prison. The trial has been postponed 4 times already and is now scheduled to take place on 6/5/15. The father tried to send clothes for his son (since he was taken out of the house not wearing much) - but they refused to accept the clothes. The lawyer also was unable (or would not, or did not try) to deliver the clothes. Hazem asked us to deliver them for him.
Our colleagues at the courthouse say it’s impossible. 

2. Elias from Bethlehem met us at Nashash. He cried bitterly for about big 20 minutes, could barely speak and seemed in a state of utter panic. This is a 47 years old man who is responsible for providing for his family: his wife, his four children, his parents and a handicapped brother who needs constant medical care. Apparently the mother had a stroke and she too needs constant treatment. He had quite steady work permits, but during an interval between permits he entered Israel without a permit, in order not to lose his job, and was caught. Now he has an open file, and police prevention until 6/11/16. And how will all these dependents survive meanwhile??? He has good reasons to cry and those who do not cry – have good reasons to cry, too.  

3. We get between 10 to15 criminal records a week, and from them emerges a picture of the life of Palestinian breadwinners. Most West Bank adult males have criminal records (or Character References in its laundered name), because they were caught as illegals when they came to work without a permit. We thought we should take a look at the police history of these “criminals” so we will add every time a summary of such a “Character Reference".

For example: Suhib from Bethany. 28 years old

1. In January 2011 a case was opened against him for "assaulting a police officer on his job". The case was closed for lack of evidence. 
2. In November 2011 he was sentenced for two offenses of "illegal entry into Israel." The case was closed for lack of public interest. 
3. In April 2012 he was sentenced for "illegally entering Israel" and was jailed for 45 days. 
4. In December 2013 a case was opened against him for “illegally entering Israel.”  The case was closed for lack of public interest. 
5. The punishment the police inflicted on him: he is prevented until 9.07.2016, a prevention that doesn’t allow him to obtain a work permit and there is almost no chance to remove it. 
The fear of entering without a permit, in complicated ways, the panic when they are caught, the humiliation and the violence they encounter many times on such occasions, and the ordeal of jail – all these 28 years old Suhib has endured , as did many others in the territories.  
The criminal record indicates that Suhib entered Israel just for the job and for nothing else and it seems as if the future holds in store similar libels.  

Needs to be known: 
In order to find out about police prevention one must obtain: 
1.A form from a DCL policeman that says until when the man is prevented from entry and how did they calculate the time limit. This is a penalty the police inflict often. Most often it is longer than the “parole” the court imposes.

Limiting entry is police prevention.

2. Criminal record (Character Reference in its laundered name) where all this person’s records are filed.

Without all these documents it is impossible to know whether to appeal the prevention ("mercy" in folk language) and what to write in it. The appeal, in 98% does not help.

The criminal record can be obtained only from a police station. Only three police stations are accessible to Palestinians: in Hebron, Etzion and near Ramallah. Ramallah and north - only with a power of attorney for a lawyer one can obtain a criminal record for Palestinians.

The “document” one is supposed to get from DCL policeman.