What Does Preventing A Wedding Have To Do With Israeli Security?
30 October 2014
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
Yes, I would like to receive an honest and convincing
answer to my frustrating question. What does
preventing a Hebron fiancée from being wed to her Gaza
fiancé have to do with Israeli security? Does it
constitute a security risk? Does it compromise Israeli
security in any real manner?
In recent months, I have left no stone unturned in
order to obtain a real answer to my question from
Israeli officials, but to no avail. Yes, I heard all
sorts of prevarication and mendacious justifications
and pretexts to justify the unjustifiable.
My daughter Azhar, 19, was engaged to Abdullah Abu
Allaban, 23, from Jabalya in the Gaza Strip last year.
Their marriage certificate was officiated at the
Islamic Sharia court in Dura near Hebron where we
live. Ever since, she has been trying in vain to
travel the 30 mile-distance from Hebron to Gaza to
join her husband. (It is like the distance between
Oklahoma City and Norman).
We contacted the civil administration of the Israeli
occupation and army and were told to contact the
Palestinian Authority (PA) liaison office. However,
when we did, we were told that the PA had no authority
or power over these matters. At the Israeli liaison
office, a young female soldier told us rather
sarcastically to "see Mahmoud Abbas, perhaps he could
help you," Mahmoud Abbas is the helpless chief of the
helpless entity known as the Palestinian Authority. He
is always at Israel's beck and call.
My daughter and her fiancé have never been involved in
any wrong doing or security violations. However,
Israel is so notorious for invoking the security
mantra to justify denying Palestinians their basic
One Civil Administration official in Hebron told me
that "if your daughter wanted to join her husband in
Gaza, she would have to sign documents, wavering her
right to return to the West Bank. In other words, she
would have to willfully accept eternal deportation.
This is not fair by any standard of civility. Where
else in the world does this gross injustice happen?
Even the most rogue states don't do this. Why must
traveling a 30-mile distance from Hebron to Gaza lead
to eternal banishment from one's homeland?
The Israeli army authorities would deny that they are
preventing a fiancée in the West Bank from joining her
fiancé in Gaza. They would argue that the couple could
always travel abroad for the marriage ceremony and
consummation and then return to occupied Palestine
This is partly true, but it usually involves a lot of
problems, mainly stemming from the unkind treatment
meted out to Palestinians by neighboring Arab
authorities especially in Jordan and Egypt. Moreover,
the traveler would have to incur a lot of extra
As a journalist who has been covering the bitter
conflict between Israel and the Palestinians for more
than 30 years, I have long become aware of Israel's
real goals behind this illogical policy of denying
Palestinians the sort of things that other people
around the world take for granted.
Israel simply doesn't want us to be around. Israel
wants a land without people and is always seeking an
opportune time to get rid of us. But, we won't give
Israel this opportunity, no matter what.
Israel also manipulates humanitarian issues such as
this one in order to recruit informers and agents for
its security agencies so that they would inform on
their communities, friends and neighbors, thus
corroding the Palestinian society from within.
The Israeli intelligence didn't ask me, either
implicitly or explicitly, to "cooperate" with them in
exchange for permitting my daughter and me to travel
to Gaza. Perhaps they knew that my profile wouldn't
allow this sort of thing to happen.
But it is really sad that the very people who call
themselves "the chosen people" and "light upon the
nations" would ask the father or mother of a child
afflicted with cancer, who need to have a travel
permit to take the child to hospital in either Israel
or the West Bank for medical treatment, to either
"cooperate with us" or have your child dead in a few
days or weeks.
Israel, for the sake of argument, may have some
"legitimate security" concerns if it allowed
Palestinians to commute freely between the West Bank
and Gaza Strip. But Israel also employs meticulous
security measures that make it virtually impossible
for Palestinians traveling through Israel checkpoints
and roadblocks to indulge in any foul play.
Hence, the only remaining explanation for the
draconian Israeli measures is that Israel is
interested first and foremost in frustrating,
harassing and tormenting the Palestinians in the hope
that the latter would contemplate leaving their
ancestral homeland for good in order to have a normal
life in exile.
Khalid Amayreh is a veteran Palestinian journalist
and political commentator living in al-Khalil in