USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

BBC: Israeli visa rules trap Palestinians

Posted by uscsjp on September 25, 2006

Business consultant Sam Bahour was used to leaving his Palestinian wife and their two young daughters in the West Bank city of Ramallah every few months to renew his tourist visa.

Sam Bahour, Palestinian-American businessman

Mr Bahour could find himself locked out of the West Bank

But now Mr Bahour, 41, faces a tough choice. He can leave the West Bank to renew his visa as usual but risks not being allowed back in. Or he can stay in the West Bank, but illegally. . .

Human rights organisations claim that Israel’s decision to enforce a law requiring a permit to visit the occupied territories is breaking up families, preventing non-Palestinians from working in schools, universities and non-governmental organisations, and stopping tourists from visiting the area. . .

The Israeli organisation B’Tselem claims Israel has refused to process 120,000 requests for such permits since the start of the second Palestinian uprising in 2000.

Mr Bahour says he applied to the Israeli authorities for a permit 13 years ago but a decision is still pending. . . (continued)

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