Middle East

Expat Palestinians denied entry into W.Bank for wedding

Germany-based couple is told that they ‘don’t meet criteria’ for entering Israeli-occupied territory

Expat Palestinians denied entry into W.Bank for wedding

Palestinian Territory


Israel’s civil administration authority has refused to allow a Palestinian couple resident in Germany to hold their wedding in the occupied West Bank, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday.  

According to the newspaper, civil administration authorities in the West Bank informed the couple that they did “not meet the criteria” for obtaining entry permits since the bride is a registered resident of the Gaza Strip despite having left the coastal enclave some 14 years ago.  

Ala Abu Nada was born in Gaza City but left in 2004 for Germany, where she grew up and now lives.

While attending a convention in Sweden, she met Omar Mohsan, a Palestinian from the West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil) who had been studying engineering in Germany, according to Haaretz.  

Last year, having decided to marry, the couple asked Israel’s civil administration authority for permits allowing members of Abu Nada’s family to travel from the Gaza Strip to Hebron so they might attend the wedding ceremony.  

The authority, however, denied the request.  

“To this very moment, we don’t know why they denied us entry. We only want to get married [in Hebron] and then go back to Germany,” Haaretz quoted a frustrated Abu Nada as saying.  

“I have never been to the West Bank,” she added. “But it’s my dream to meet Omar’s family and celebrate my wedding there.”  

According to the civil administration authority, Abu Nada’s request was received in September but was ultimately turned down for failing to meet the “criteria” for entry into the West Bank.  

However, Israeli Attorney Osnat Cohen-Lifshitz, a lawyer for Gisha, an Israeli human rights NGO, said that Abu Nada’s request had, in fact, met the criteria for entry, one of which, she says, is the wedding of an immediate family member.

“You can be an adult American-born citizen [of Palestinian descent], but for Israel, you remain a Palestinian and that’s how you’ll be treated,” Haaretz quoted the lawyer as saying.

“You can’t enter through [Tel Aviv’s] Ben-Gurion Airport and you’ll be subject to their system of permits,” she added. “The [ethnic] origin is the dominant factor there.”

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