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Mothers without identities

"Family reunification is my right", a movement to let the voice of families be heard through the media.

Jerusalem24 – Mother’s Day does not pass for all women alike, many of them live on this day with a pain no one knows. Deprived of their most basic rights to movement,  travel and spending this day with their loved ones like any other family; except that the matter depends on family reunification, and their right to obtain their identity is still on hold their lives are.

The problem lies with families whose members entered the West Bank and Gaza with temporary or “tourist” visit permits, or Palestinians who were married to other nationalities without obtaining a “family reunification” decision; As Israel deals with them as “illegal residents” and violators. If some of them are forced to travel, they will leave their families without returning.

“I miss my family and its existence in my life, and my suffering began eight years ago.”

Nevin El-Daly has been struggling with family reunification since 2013. She came from Syria to Palestine after her marriage with a one-month permit on her Palestinian-Egyptian document, but she remained to obtain her right to have an ID card. She applied again two years later, after informing her of the loss of the application, but eight years later nothing changed.

Nevin told Jerusalem24, “my life is like a prison, I cannot move between cities, not even traveling, and I have not seen my family for years, my passport is expired and I cannot even renew it, in addition to the end of my dealings with banks and official transactions that I cannot complete without identity or identification papers.”

“The file is frozen by a political decision by the Israeli side.”

Iman Al-Barghouti is tired of hearing this for nine years on every visit to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. After the issuance of a very small batch of family reunifications in 2019, Iman and some of the women suffering from the same problem decided to establish the movement “Family reunification is my right.” They considered a way to mobilize calls for the reunification and to let their voice be heard through the media, social media, the hashtag “Family Reunification is my right” and demonstrations in front of the ministry.

“My father died and I did not see him, and I am afraid to move between cities so that I won’t be deported away from my children .”

In the same context, Diana Kaddoura saw that this movement is a glimmer of hope through which the voice of those women can be heard and the encouragement of those who have the same demand, to put pressure on the concerned authorities in addition to going to civil society and human rights institutions to help them secure the reunification after waiting for years.

It is worth noting that Israel agreed more than 10 years ago to “reunite” about 50,000 Palestinians, but the file has been pending since then. As for the number of applicants, the “unification is my right” campaign on its Facebook page estimates them at about 22,000 people.

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