In Palestine, the everyday of life of Palestinians is generally outside of their control. Their existence is controlled by an administrative structure called the Israeli Civil Administration.
Permission to travel to Gaza denied
In Palestine, the everyday of life of Palestinians is generally outside of their control. Their existence is controlled by an administrative structure called the Israeli Civil Administration. This body is the one that controls issues related to everyday life. This includes permits to move, registration of births and deaths, and changes of residency.
One thing that the Civil Administration does not control specifically is the process of marriage, but in a way, it even supervises this issue. This is particularly evident when two people who live either inside Palestine in a geographic area outside of their home area marry and wish to live together. For them to live lives with any mormalcy, this necessitates a change in their residency which can be an almost impossible to change.
Take the example of Rami Tarazi from Gaza and Manar Nemer from Ain Arik in the West Bank. In May 2006, Rami Tarazi received a 10 day permit to enter Israel to get married. After seven days, the marriage took place and then three days later, because his permit was to expire, he left. His wife applied to the authorities to leave Ain Arik and travel to live with her husband in Gaza, but her permit to leave was denied.
Now, for this couple, a ray of light exists. Manar will leave to Jordan to travel to Egypt to enter Gaza via the Rafah Crossing, but her situation is still not clear. She may arrive in Gaza, but her residency is still in Ain Arik.
This presents this family with problems should she have to leave Gaza for any reason. She might be able to leave, but she might not be able to get back in. Without an official change in residency, married couples face challenges to live together in a secure way. Commenting on this issue, a lawyer from the St. Yves Legal Center in Jerusalem said: “We know of dozens cases where married couples cannot live together because of residency issues, an inability to get a visa or residency permit or inability to get travel permits. These obstacles make family life for so many a nightmare.”
A life in Gaza alone
Now that Rami is back in Gaza, he is reminded of the better part of his life of 27 years, which has been dominated by loneliness. He lost both of his parents, his mother when he was very young and his father at age 15. He has been living alone and has managed these years to survive with the help of an uncle. He got a job in the Palestinian Ministry of Antiquities in Gaza while he is completing his Baccalaureate degree in university. Rami is from a well known Gaza Catholic family and has a good reputation according to Fr. Manuel Musallam, the parish priest in Gaza.
Rami and Manar met one time while he was in the Bethlehem region for Christmas visiting family and they were able to meet one other time in the same region over next Easter. With much effort, the Latin Patriarchate secured a permit for Rami to come for the marriage in Ain Arik, but when it expired he had to leave. After trying to get a permit to enter Gaza unsuccessfully, Manar decided to go to Gaza via Jordan and Egypt to enter from the Rafah crossing.
Manar and parents went to Jordan with the intention of traveling to Gaza, but the day they were to travel, Gaza was closed due to the problems associated with the attack on and kidnapping of an Israeli solider near Gaza. Now, after waiting in Jordan, Manar returned to her family in Ain Arik to wait patiently for the next time she will see Rami. Join us in praying that it will be soon.