Etzion DCO: The Shin Bet confiscates vehicles and goods to put pressure on the Palestinians

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Shlomit Steinitz, Natanya Ginsburg

We left Jerusalem thinking that such a day cannot get worse. It did when we got to the DCO. 

For the first 15 minutes that we were at the DCO we met only one man. For the second time we heard of a man   from Beit Safafa who has a blue I and was called in by the GSS for interrogation. Soon by us as the saying goes in Hebrew. For a while we thought to go and then the deluge.

A man from Beit Awa said that the village is composed of two families,  20000 people, many of whom are engaged in selling "alte Sachen"...second hand goods which they collect and fix to sell again.....fridges, tvs, you name it, they have it....or at least they did until about 15 cars were stopped at a traffic light and were ordered to take the goods to Barkan to a nameless settler. There they had to leave the goods for which they did not get a receipt. They also had to leave another car as a "deposit" that they had done so. They were also not given receipt for their own vehicles which were then confiscated. The man who spoke to us...I have his name....said that though his wallet was in the car, he was not allowed to take it and his money.  I wonder if he will find it if he ever gets his truck back. He asked repeatedly that we do not write his name.  The soldiers let him keep  his phone....lucky for him, his driving licence and proof of ownership of the car. As he said that when a soldier with his M16 demands that you hand over your car, you do not argue with him. There were two other men with him who had the same experience. 

At the same time on the other side of the road settlers were throwing stones as passing Palestinian car.

Of course, we could not contact anyone to help him. A Druse captain came past and did stop and said he would contact him but until today no one has.  He said that he contacted Malak but she did not reply to his calls.  He repeatedly asked that his name not be mentioned. We wondered if this is also  an attempt to get the men to cooperate with them in the hope of getting their cars back. And of course it is also an easy way for the army to collect money as each day the vehicle is kept in the lot costs 100 shekel. Malak, when I spoke to her, said she is drowning in requests of help. The man also spoke to St. Ives in Bethlehem who said they would try to check. 

Te contents of these cars are sometimes worth 20000 to 30000.

The license number of the car of one of the workers from Ricardo fell and he could not replace it on the same day as it was Peisach. He wrote the number on a piece of cardboard and when the licensing office opened he went to have a new one made. But in the meantime the very efficient police gave him a report for a court case in a year's time at Ofer and he has been accused of deliberately trying to obscure the  number. Shlomit phoned a journalist hoping she may want to write about it. Not that that will help. 

As I said the day did get worse...for the Palestinians.

Later in the day. Hanna Barag said that the best thing for the Palestinians, as a group,  to do so was to contact the lawyer,    as a group which would also cost them less. I I finformed them.