'Israel' threatens Palestinians' unity through family separation
"Israel" is weakening the social fabric of the Palestinian people by forcing huge expulsions, leaving thousands of Palestinian families divided between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The separation policy, combined with the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, constitutes "Israel's" plan to split apart Palestinian society and thwart Palestinian self-determination. "Israel" is weakening the social fabric of the Palestinian people by forcing huge expulsions, leaving thousands of Palestinian families divided between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The occupation makes every effort to break up and disrupt the social fabric of Palestinian communities, leading to domestic disorder.
Family separation has been a tragic history of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This has been done by killing spouses or physically separating them. "Israel fears" Palestinian unity. Splitting families and townspeople makes it harder to pass on Palestinian tradition, history, and identity. It is cruelly dividing Palestinian society through family separation.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian families and spouses are separated across occupied Palestine. In a report, the Israeli NGO Gisha noted, "Israel has followed a 'divide and conquer' policy... and usually participates in population control by promoting, coercing and prohibiting mobility in ways that match its demographic aims."
Moreover, various restrictions on the reunification of separated Palestinian families have been enforced by "Israel". Despite this, "Israel" cannot shatter the resolve of Palestinians, who are determined to preserve their basic rights. Frequently, the occupation interferes in the lives of the spouses of those it targets for whatever reason. Forcing spouses to divorce is a frequent breach of international law, but despite the seriousness of such an act and its impact on Palestinian society, it is seldom, if ever, publicized in the media.
Resolution 1813, enacted by the Israeli occupation government in 2003, prohibits Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip from acquiring residential status in "Israel" or occupied "East Jerusalem" through marriage, thereby preventing family members from living together if one spouse came from outside the region.
In addition, family unification was halted in 2002 and has been frozen due to Israeli authorities' perception that the procedure poses a demographic and security risk. As a result, families with one spouse born in "East Jerusalem" and the other born in the West Bank or Gaza face forced separation as they cannot coexist as one unit, either in the West Bank/Gaza or in "East Jerusalem". In reality, dividing families seems to be part of an Israeli plot to dismantle the social fabric of Palestinian families outside occupied Al-Quds and Gaza.
Furthermore, in the case of women from occupied Al-Quds, the FUL functions "as a tool of displacement." Many applications for family unification that were denied have been stored at the Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling. More than two-thirds of households living behind the wall had at least one relative residing inside the wall's boundaries. Under the "Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law," mutual visits are often prohibited.
Residents of occupied Al-Quds with green IDs are not authorized to enter Al-Quds (J1) freely; they must request entrance permission to visit relatives for various events, including births, weddings, and deaths. Likewise, if the couple chooses to live apart, they will have to put up with an imposed separation for years, and if they have children, one spouse will be taken from them.
Most importantly, the situation is particularly difficult for married women since they are expected to migrate with their husbands and because the military occupying force monitors their every move. The tragic history of family separation under the Israeli occupation is rooted in the early days of the occupation of Palestine and continues to this day. In some cases, this has been accomplished by the physical separation of partners, and in others, by killing them.
There are numerous stories of couples who have experienced the worst situation. For example, one woman, Ghadah, described her family's experience of marrying a man from occupied Al-Quds with a blue ID and having a green ID in the family. She stated, "Countless innocent Palestinians have suffered due to Israeli policies and laws. In addition, Palestinians consider the legislation to be discriminatory. This policy should be repealed now since it is one of the most racially discriminatory laws. No nation settles and reunites its people's spouses and wives according to their national and ethnic identity and by labeling them, enemies.”
Several petitions for a family reunion have been declined in the past. Hadeel, for instance, in an interview, shared the following narrative about her extended family members:
"She has a Palestinian identity card, and her husband has a Jerusalem identification card; they have requested a family reunion so that she may live with him in Jerusalem. In 1999 and again in 2001, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior denied the request. The authorities informed her husband that she could not reside in Jerusalem with him, but they did not provide a reason. Notably, residency cancellation is the primary method of coercion to remove Palestinians from East Jerusalem."
"The Knesset passed Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Provision) or CEIL in 2003. It disallowed Palestinian Israeli citizens or 'permanent residents' from marrying West Bank or Gaza inhabitants. This security-based ban excluded Israeli residents in the West Bank and Gaza (until 2005)," she further stated.
Significantly, the primary concern for "Israel" is social and political Palestinian unity. It is more difficult for Palestinian legacy, history, and even identity to be handed down from one generation to the next when families are divided and communities are kept apart. Moreover, while women are oppressed like males, they often take care of the household without men. Finally, "mixed ID families" hurt current women, married couples, and future generations, destroying their social lives.
Local and international human rights groups have characterized "Israel's" practices of separation between different parts of the Palestinian population, comprising but not limited to those in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as strategies of fragmentation and domination designed to ensure Jewish demographic ownership over Palestinians.
Ongoing research in Progress Paper titled "Palestinian Suffer the Worse: Israel Continue to block the Family reunification" by Dr. Abeda Rafique, Dilshad, Ruqiya Anwar, 2022. Pakistan