Rima's Permit

Rima, a colleague of mine comes from Gaza but married a Palestinian from Ramallah 5 or 6 years ago. Back then, the Intifada had already started, so she and her husband fought hard, and left no stone unturned to ensure that Rima gets a permit to come to Ramallah. Of course, the permit expired, and she has been living in Ramallah for the past 5 years illegally (in Israel's twisted logic).

In practice, a Palestinian has to know what he is marrying into. If you are from the West Bank, it would be impossible in legal terms to get a wife from Jerusalem, Gaza or Israel. Israeli law does not explicitly state that some marriages are prohibited, however, it says that certain couples cannot live with each other!

So if you are from the West Bank you are not allowed to live with your partner who is from Israel, Jerusalem or Gaza. There are thousands of families which are separated or risk separation everyday because of this situation which makes it illegal for someone with Israeli citizenship to enter PA areas, or a Palestinian to enter Israeli areas, or for Palestinians to move between the PA areas of Gaza and West Bank.

Rima got a permit from the Israeli army to see her family! So she can go to Gaza for two weeks enjoy seeing them for the first time since she left after getting married. I am happy for her.

On the other hand, I can't help but think of how ridiculous it is that in order to see your family, which lives in the same country, you will have to get a permit from the Army. Or, how ridiculous it is to not be able to live "legally" with your partner, because you come from different areas in the same country. It is sad when you get happy because you are allowed to see your family. This logic is anachronistic with the 21st century, but it still is the prevailing logic of the God's most gracious gift to mankind, the light unto the nations, the State of Israel.

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Alaa' said...

Rima is a colleague of mine too. and for good i had the chance to see her before she went back home to pack for tom.'s journey to Gaza.
Whenever i recall the moment when we shaked hands in the downtown i do actually tremble, Her heart beats were really strong that they easily went through me, her words about Tamara's comments, tears and enthusiasm (Tamara is Rima's small daughter),and how is it going to be when she'll meet her family members, Mum and sisters, every simple detail she mentioned gets me really glad for her but at the same time i hate everything because the permit that she's got will expire in two weeks and then will Rima wait for another decade to visit Gaza!

elena said...

yes, I'm happy too for Rima and at the same time it is sad that you have to ask for a permit to visit your family in your own country, it is something not really understandable for somebody who is used to move and travel everywhere without asking anybody, I can't imagine how somebody can play in this way with your life and feelings deciding for you, also for things like going to a hospital