Etzion DCL

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Shlomit Strinitz and Natanya Ginsburg
DCO Etzion - our office

The busiest day we have had in a long time...and we arrived early and left late.The first thing we saw was the sewage which is helping greatly with the "garden" around the steps.

We were mainly occupied in the beginning with those who are "police prevented" or "GSS prevented". Typical was the case of a man who was jailed for five years at the age of 15 for theft. Since then, he has been "clean". But now at the age of 38 with five children he is still prevented.

Here you can see our "office". We do not know where these chairs come from and the rain we have had does not seem to have made them any more uncomfortable than they were in the beginning but when the weather is good as it was yesterday, it is pleasant outside, however unpleasant are the problems with which we are faced..... most of which will occupy Sylvia and her team. We have to keep explaining that Sylvia is NOT the other expensive lawyer with the same name.

Much of our time was taken with a man who had been illegally in Israel. We understood with our basic Arabic and his basic Hebrew that he had come to the Beitar Illit where he was arrested and had sat in jail for four days. His problem was that he had been given a receipt for his car and now, having been freed and wanting to get his car back, he realized that he had forgotten the receipt in the car itself.  We were helped in the translation by my friend, Shoshana London Sappir, who spoke to the man over the phone as she has done several times before. He was being sent from pillar to post, from the jail to the DCO and back again like a yo-yo.

Eventually he came back and said he had gone up to the jail but had been unable to make himself understood. So we drove up there and our hearts sank. There were two soldiers at the entrance and the one had every appearance to the hilltop youth. We were expecting a rude welcome when we explained why we were there. What a pleasant surprise. How it can turn a horrible day around. Both soldiers were so helpful and immediately started phoning.  The one who looked like a hilltop youth came out and, very apologetically, told us that we had to move back into the parking areas and promised he would not forget us. He told us his name was Noam  and I said that he was as his name. In Hebrew Noam is "pleasant". And Shlomit told him how our hearts had sunk when we saw him and how happy we were to meet a soldier as he is.

Later he came to say that the man would have to wait an hour and a half because of the lunch break. That he should sit and wait. The Palestinian got out of the car and .... something we have never seen before or at least not since the time of Nadav...Noam shook hands with him. Noam said he would be sure to let him know what was happening. We asked how they would communicate as our man had no Hebrew but Noam said he had some Arabic and would manage.

So we went off. Shlomit had our Palestinian friend's phone number, and I asked Shoshana to speak to him again and find out if he had the car back. I am happy to announce that he does.