Etzion DCL

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Shlomit Steinitz, Natanya Ginsburg

The only real query we had today which was not really a query came from a Palestinian who complained, though politely, that though he had turned to us some time before, we had not helped. It concerned a bugger (it always gives me a turn to write that word) which was confiscated some months ago because they had been working on an archaeological site. We would ask which site in Palestine is not conveniently an archaeological site and if those using the term actually know what an archaeological site is. I am sure that at the time we gave him all the information we had as to whom to turn. He had had to pay a fine of 4000 shekel. The bugger had been confiscated 8 months ago and now the owner had had to bring in a tow truck as the wheels were completely flat. The cherry on the top. We could not get to the bottom of why this had taken so long but the man said that they had been sent from pillar to post both by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

One of the two vehicles which we saw besides the bugger had been confiscated a week ago and had not been returned without the owners having to pay a fine or turn to a lawyer. The vehicles had been on the back of another vehicle and been confiscated. On the other hand they had lost a week of work. The question is why was this. The Palestinians do not know why and, had they insisted on their right to know, they would probably have been  arrested.

In both cases one is left in a state of complete bewilderment …….which is what the IDF wants the Palestinians to feel. It is bad enough for we Israeli who have to deal with our own bureaucracy but in the case of the Palestinians they are not only confused but scared to try to demand their rights. 

The other questions were those who had been “prevented” at the checkpoints which they had passed through the previous day with no problem.

 And then there was the helicopter which was landed on the site for which we have never been given a proper explanation as to its use.