Haaretz, Nov. 25, 2016

For the past 10 years, Jihan Abu Ta’aima has been forcefully separated from her four children. She lives in Khan Yunis, in the Gaza Strip; her children are a one-hour drive away, in the Negev. Aside from the three brief visits they have made to the Strip, and their daily video conversations, she never sees them. Little Yusuf was less than a year old when Israeli authorities wrenched him from her; now he barely knows his mother.

[...] The couple’s four children – Riham, Sabar, Iyad and Yusuf – are Israeli citizens. Jihan initially received a visa that allowed her to remain in Israel as a temporary resident. But one day in 2007, she was told by the Interior Ministry’s Population Registry that her visa would not be renewed. She had no choice but to return to Khan Yunis. She and Suleiman were sure the matter would be quickly resolved. Riham, their eldest child was only 8 at the time. No one imagined that the separation from him the others would be forever. But Hamas seized power in Gaza just then, and Israel turned the Strip into a cage.

 

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