Al Nashshash, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 4.6.08, Morning
6:20, Bethlehem Checkpoint: The same as last week, the queues are long with a lot of crowding. Only four stations are open – why don’t they open more ? A passing soldier told us that one of the female soldiers who worked here is ill and there is no replacement. Before we can ask any more questions, a guard from the “ARIE” private security company approaches us and forbids the soldier to speak to us.
The guard is smoking and when we show him the “No Smoking” sign, he is annoyed and tells us “there are 800 smokers in the queue” and therefore he will also smoke. He has no name-tag and therefore there is no way to identify him. He refuses to continue to talk to us, distances himself from us and pulls the soldier after him. We phone anyone who perhaps can arrange for additional checking-stations to be opened, but without success. The guard continues to move around, “putting everything in order”, rudely and arrogantly – and, of course, continues to smoke.
We have already written and complained about the unbearable behavior of the private contractors’ security personnel, over whom there is no supervision. We shall write again, complain, and insist that identity tags are issued.
07:15, El Nashnash: No-one approaches us.
07:40, Nebeh Yunis: A Palestinian asks us to help him. He tells us that his car was confiscated from him on the grounds that it was stolen, although he has all the necessary licenses and documents to record the payments he made when he bought it. He wasn’t given any receipt for the car and doesn’t know the identity of the person who took it. We passed a power-of-attorney and all the details to Chia, and she will try to investigate the matter.
08:15, Etzion DCL: About 30 people are waiting in the hall, mostly applicants for magnetic cards, and General Security Service (GSS) – denied people. We refer a man who told us he worked in a Jerusalem restaurant, to Sylvia. He visited Jordan, and when he returned he was refused an entry permit on the grounds that he is on the GSS – denied list. Another person complains that he has been summoned to appear in court, although for the last 10 years he hasn’t been in Israel and doesn’t understand why he was summoned.