Following HaMoked's intervention: Teenage Palestinian girl deported to Gaza without her parents' knowledge is allowed to return home
For Immediate Release
HaMoked is pleased to report that Ghada has left the Gaza Strip and is on her way home to her parents in the West Bank. Her family is not interested in speaking with the media at this time. Background
: On January 16, Israeli authorities deported Ghada (her last name is withheld) to the Gaza Strip after she was arrested in Jerusalem. Ghada was born in 2003 in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank, where she has lived her whole life. Her father is originally from the Gaza Strip and when she was born her address was also listed as Gaza. She lives with her family in a-Ram, a West Bank town just on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
On January 13, 2018, when she was returning from a visit to her aunt in the Issawiya neighborhood in Jerusalem, she was arrested by the Border Police for being in Jerusalem without the necessary permits. After her family paid a guarantee of NIS 1,500, rather than being released to her home in the West Bank, the Israel Prison Service took her to the Erez Crossing into Gaza. No one had coordinated with her family or even bothered to explain to Ghada where she was.
Ghada had never been in the Gaza Strip before. She stayed with her father's relatives (whom she had never met before) for two weeks before HaMoked managed to get Israeli approval for her to leave the Gaza Strip and return to her family in the West Bank.
Some 20,000 people live in the West Bank with a home address listed as the Gaza Strip, including children born in the West Bank. Israel refuses to update their address and considers them "illegal aliens" unless they've received a special permit to live in the West Bank. In 2012, following a High Court petition by HaMoked, the military committed not to deport Palestinians with a Gaza address if they had moved to live in the West Bank before Israel's disengagement from Gaza in 2005. According to data provided by the military to HaMoked, last year 27 Palestinians living in the West Bank were forcibly removed to the Gaza Strip, a sharp increase from previous years.
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