Scores of Palestinian families in West Bank and Gaza torn apart due to Israel ban

Scores of Palestinian families in West Bank and Gaza torn apart due to Israel ban
Over 100 families with members in the Gaza Strip and West Bank have been torn apart by Israeli bans on entry, with some children never meeting their parents.
2 min read
14 March, 2023
Because of Israel’s ban, at least 100 Palestinian families are divided and cannot live together (Getty)

At least 100 Palestinian families remain divided between the West Bank and Gaza due to an Israeli separation law, according to official statistics issued by the Hamas-run interior ministry in the Gaza Strip.

Hanan Abu Saa, a Gaza-based woman, is among those who cannot live in the same home as her family in the West Bank due to the law.

Abu Saa told The New Arab that she met her husband, who was from Tulkarm, in the UAE. They married in the Gulf state and lived together for many years.

They were forced to leave the UAE in 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, with Israel banning Abu Saa from the West Bank and not allowing her husband to enter Gaza.

"I live with my kids in Gaza without their father. If we want to meet him, we need to travel to other countries, like Turkey and Egypt, but our trip costs us a lot of money," the 35-year-old mother-of-three said.   

Mahmoud Salem, a 16-year-old teenager from Gaza City, has been prevented from meeting his father since he was a baby, due to an Israeli ban on him from entering the occupied West Bank and his dad being barred from visiting him.

"I have never seen my father, he left four months after I was born. Many years have passed since my eyes were opened to the world but my father is not with me," the teenager told The New Arab.

"I am deprived of... walking together [with my dad] on the streets and him taking me to visit our relatives. This situation has affected me psychologically a lot... I miss my father so much."

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Israeli law deprives thousands of Palestinians of travel or residing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to Human Rights Watch.

The human rights group has called on Israel to "stop denying or revoking the residency of Palestinians and their close family members, who have deep connections to the West Bank and Gaza and stop its blanket ban on the processing of their applications for residency".