World, Middle East

Palestinian woman reunited with family after 24 years

Israel has not allowed Sena Mohammed, who began living in occupied West Bank after marriage, to visit family in Jordan

Qais Omar Darwesh Omar and Safiye Karabacak   | 17.06.2021
Palestinian woman reunited with family after 24 years Palestinian Sena Mohammed (R) reunites with her family after 24 years at River Jordan also known as Nahr Al Sharieat in Jericho, West Bank on June 17, 2021. Sena reunited with her family members, who live in Jordan. Sena claims Israel does not give her an identity card for abroad travelling. ( Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )


A Palestinian woman unable to travel abroad due to Israel's refusal to issue her an ID card has been reunited with her family who lives in Jordan for the first time in 24 years.

Sena Mohammed met her family on the opposite shores of the Jordan River, located between Jordan and the occupied West Bank. She waved from afar without getting an opportunity to hug them.

Israeli authorities have not allowed Mohammed, who began living in the occupied West Bank after her marriage, to visit her family in Jordan on the pretext that she does not have an identity card.

Mohammed is one of 50,000 Palestinians that Israel does not permit an identity card, preventing family reunifications.

Meanwhile, Jordanians of Palestinian descent must obtain special and expensive permits from Israeli authorities if they wish to visit occupied Palestinian territories.

Mohammed was on the west bank of the Jordan River, while her family was on the east bank.

She could not hug her family although they were just meters apart.

The meeting lasted less than an hour and was under surveillance of soldiers on both sides of the river.

“I haven't seen my family for 24 years. My crime is marrying someone from the West Bank. I don't have an identity,” Mohammed told Anadolu Agency. “Living without an identity means you are not human, you are nothing.”

She urged Palestinian and Jordanian authorities to help her acquire an identity card.

“I don't want to lose any of my family members before meeting with them. It was very painful for me to lose my parents before I could say goodbye to them,” she said.

The Israeli administration does not recognize marriages between those living in occupied Palestinian territories and Palestinians residing abroad or foreign citizens for “family reunification.”

And it does not give identity cards to their spouses.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara.

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