Israel's 'separation policy' dividing dozens of Palestinian families

Israels separation policy dividing dozens of Palestinian families
Date: 29.3.2021 12:00

Rights groups say Israel's 'separation policy' is keeping apart dozens of families.

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Residents of the besieged Gaza Strip need exit permits from the Israeli authorities to enter the occupied West Bank through the Israeli-controlled border at Erez, the only land crossing for people wanting to move between Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.
In 2007, a year after it won legislative elections, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. Israel soon imposed a suffocating blockade on the coastal enclave, restricting the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza, under what the Israeli government calls “the separation policy”.
According to the Israeli government, the policy aims to restrict travel between Gaza and the West Bank to avoid transferring “a human terrorist network” out of the Strip.
“Even if the Israeli government wants to reduce what it calls the transfer of terrorists into the occupied territory, its separation policy imposed on over two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is simply collective punishment that is prohibited under international humanitarian law,” Mohammed Emad, director of the legal department of the Stockholm-based advocacy group Skyline International for Human Rights, told MEE.
“Such restrictions are imposed arbitrarily on random civilians and are resulting in the separation of dozens of families.”
In July 2003, the Israeli parliament passed a law that prevents family unification for Israeli citizens married to Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territory.
According to Amnesty International, the law constitutes a “further step in Israel’s long-standing policy aimed at restricting the number of Palestinians who are allowed to live in Israel and in East Jerusalem.”
Israel has long been criticised for separating Palestinian children from their families, including those from the Gaza Strip who are referred for medical treatment in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Figures collected by NGO Physicians for Human Rights Israel revealed that more than half of the applications filed in 2018 by parents attempting to accompany their children for medical treatment in the occupied territory were rejected.


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