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For the IDF, marriage isn't a 'humanitarian need'

What kind of future is Israel offering Palestinian women when they can’t even obtain permits to leave the country in search of a better life?

Amira Hass published an article in Haaretz last week about the Israel government rejecting a request by a young woman from Gaza to travel to Turkey in order to get married and live there. The young woman turned to Israel’s District Coordination and Liaison Office through the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee for permission to exit through the Erez Crossing into the West Bank. From there should would first travel to Jordan before taking off for Turkey.

A Palestinian man from Gaza walks down an open air corridor at the Erez Crossing terminal, the northern checkpoint leading from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in the area of Beit Hanun, February 14, 2012. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian man from Gaza walks down an open air corridor at the Erez Crossing terminal, the northern checkpoint leading from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in the area of Beit Hanun, February 14, 2012. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

According to the government’s response, weddings simply do not meet the criteria for humanitarian needs. Of course, under Israel’s policy of siege and blockade, only those with real humanitarian needs — at least as defined by Israel — can exit the Gaza Strip. After all, why should we let a young bride marry if she isn’t bringing down the Hamas government?

Meanwhile, Ma’an News Agency published an article last Monday about the number of babies born to long-serving Palestinian prisoners (through smuggled sperm) rising to 35. Rula Matar, the wife of Palestinian prisoner Fadi Matar (no familial relation – H.M.), who was sentenced to 10.5 years in Israel jail, gave birth to twins using sperm smuggled from prison to a fertility clinic in Nablus.

As opposed to the treatment of Israeli prisoners — including Yigal Amir, who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 — the state prevents Palestinian prisoners from conjugal visits, and refuses to recognize their right to bring children into the world. This only leads to an increase in sperm smuggling.

These two women have not been accused of anything. They do not endanger the security of the region. They are neither members of the Islamic State nor nuclear engineers in Iran. All they want to do is lead normal lives. The woman from Gaza wants to get married and leave Gaza — to live her life far away from here. Rula Matar gave birth eight years ago, she wanted another boy or girl (and in the end got both). Meanwhile, Israel can arbitrarily prevent these women from enjoying the most basic aspects of a normalcy.

Palestinian demonstrators hold a mock wedding during a nonviolent demonstration in the West Bank village Al-Ma'asara. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian demonstrators hold a mock wedding during a nonviolent demonstration in the West Bank village Al-Ma’asara. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

These are small, day-to-day examples of Israel’s control over the West Bank and Gaza. There are many others. What can we say to these women? What can Israeli politicians say to them? What kind of future do we offer those who live here, next to us, with us?

This article was first published on +972′s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

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    1. Pedro X

      Let the Bride of Palestine journey through Egypt and catch a plane to Ankara without treading on Israeli soil. All will be safer for this.

      Hamas has boasted that it trains young women to be suicide bombers and terrorists.

      Ismail Haniyeh January 15, 2014

      “Beware this generation. This is a generation which knows no fear. It is the generation of the missile, the tunnel and the suicide operations.”

      The Hamas prime minister added that female trainers are also on staff “to oversee the training of the young women to follow in the footsteps of the female suicide operatives.”

      Palestinian society views suicide bombers as having performed a marriage ceremony. Fatah on the 11th anniversary of Ayyat Al-Akhras’ 2002 suicide bombing in Israel wrote on its facebook page:

      “”11th anniversary March 29, 2013
      Ayyat, we are committed to your promise
      We are committed to the promise of freedom,
      oh Bride of Palestine,
      Ayyat Al-Akhras.”

      Wafa (PA official paper) January 15, 2015:

      “Our belief in Martyrdom-death (Istish’had) for Palestine is equal to our belief in the eternal life of our people in its land”

      “Fatah said that ‘loyalty to the Martyrs (Shahids) of Palestine is the most exalted expression of its commitment to the path and to the oath to liberate the land and to persist on the path of truth, which the Martyrs paved with their pure blood.”

      Hamas TV Aug. 1, 2014:

      “Every mother – especially the mothers in Palestine, but every mother in the [Islamic] Nation, not just Palestine – must nurse her children on hatred of the sons of Zion. We hate them and they are our enemies. We will plant this in their [our children’s] souls, so that a new generation will grow among us, which will erase them from the face of the earth.”

      In late December of 2014 the PA bestowed martyrdom status on the two Arab East Jerusalem men who killed 4 worshipers and one policeman at a synagogue in West Jerusalem.

      So tell me again why Israel needs to admit any Palestinian into Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        As always, for Pedro, all Palestinians are terrorists.

        Just like all Jews are crooks.

        Wait… did I get something messed up? It’s difficult to be a racist asshole.

        Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          The United states did not permit Cubans to enter and cross their country to attend weddings in Montreal, even thought Cuba, unlike Gazans, had never sent female suicide bombers to blow up Jewish babies in neo-natal units in Israeli hospitals.

          The US exercised its right not to allow enemy aliens to have access to its territory. Israel has the same right.

          Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Of course that was a stupid policy, and yet another example of the malevolent influence of powerful foreign lobbies (interestingly also dominated by casino-owners) but again Obama seems to have had enough of that silliness, as it looks like his last two years might be devoted to constructive foreign policy initiatives. However there is a world of difference between the two: America did not prevent Cubans leaving, nor bomb their airport, nor blockade their seaport. A desperate effort at “whataboutery”, Pedro – absolutely crass. We expect better of you than that.

            Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            I hate to tell you that the Americans maintained a naval blockade of Cuba until it agreed to rid itself of Soviet nuclear weapon technology. The US also to this day occupies part of Cuba with a military base at which it keeps Islamic terrorists.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            I hate to tell you Pedro but you have drawn a hopelessly inappropriate parallel to Israel’s brutal treatment of Gaza. After the US attacked Cuba in the Bay of Pigs incident and stationed nuclear-armed missiles in Turkey and Italy, the Soviet Union retaliated by stationing missiles in Cuba. Yes the US briefly (for barely a month) blockaded Cuba while it NEGOTIATED an agreement for both sides to withdraw their missiles. Gaza is not a superpower confrontation, Iran has not stationed nuclear missiles in Gaza, and Israel has shown exceeding reluctance to NEGOTIATE a solution, despite Hamas repeatedly observing truces when it stops firing its feeble home-made rockets across the border. Hamas has repeatedly sought a long-term truce in exchange for the removal of the Israeli stranglehold over the territory, but Israel refuses to negotiate or even to talk to Hamas. What is worse Israel has opposed democracy in Gaza (after the 2006 elections) had sought to undermine reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas and has used the full weight of the powerful Zionist lobby in the US to undermine US attempts to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict – in order that it can maintain its illegal OCCUPATION.

            Reply to Comment
      • Adolph A. Puig

        I do not leave a comment to anonymous statements. Pedro X is an anonymous or fake name.

        Reply to Comment
      • Bryan

        Now you are getting absolutely absurd, Pedro.
        (1) If safety is your main concern then maintaining an oppressive occupation and periodically culling the natives is not the way to achieve it.
        (2) The bride could travel through the Gaza checkpoint without posing any more danger to Israelis than she would to fellow travelers on a flight to Ankara, because both use the same technology to ensure safety.
        (3) When it suits the Israeli economy (i.e nearly always) thousands of workers are permitted to cross from the Occupied Territories without threatening Israeli security, and you would probably be the first to take pride in the rigorous attention to detail applied by the Israeli security regime to ensure that this is the case.
        (4) A bride-to-be does not fit the the classic profile of a suicide bomber – you may be able to dredge up an example to contradict this, but I will lay money on that exception being the case only because a close relative had recently been murdered by the IDF.
        (5) That all Palestinians are violent terrorists is on a par with the worst libels of anti-Semitism. It would be easier to maintain that all Israelis are heartless and indifferent expropriators, ethnic-cleansers and oppressors, BUT citing individual statements, some of which have clearly been mistranslated, can NEVER prove a generalisation like that.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Joel Cantor

      I actually disagree with this particular Israeli policy. Let the arab woman exit Gaza through Rafiah, continue to Cairo and fly to Turkey. Once in Turkey, she can marry who she wants and NEVER COME BACK.

      With any luck, more Hamastanis will decide to follow her steps & hereby disappear from Israeli history.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bryan

        Never let it be said that Israeli-supporters are unashamed advocates of ethnic-cleansing.

        Reply to Comment
      • Suade

        Are you kidding? what such a wonderful strategy you came up with to get ride of us..
        but be sure …the occupation one day will come to its end and we will free our beloved land.. No matter how much Palestinians left their country. Many here stays to restore all our occupied territory…

        Reply to Comment
    3. C.C. DeVille

      Look at the bride on the far right. That’s a man, baby!

      Reply to Comment
      • Bryan

        No, dear, it is you that is on the far right.

        Reply to Comment