Affidavit No. 2021/2004

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall be subjected topenal action, I the undersigned, Ghaleb 'Aref Anis Daraghma, holder of I.D. # 982656431, bornon 29 September 1952, an unemployed resident of Toubas, Jenin Governorate, would like todeclare the following:

In 1975, I left Toubas for Saudi Arabia, where I worked as a teacher. In 1978 I returned toToubas and married my cousin, who accompanied me to Saudi Arabia. In 1979, we gave birthto Firas and in 1981 we gave birth to Arij. We registered both children with my wife’s and myidentity cards by returning for that purpose to the West Bank. The Israeli-imposed occupationsystem during that period demanded that any person who leaves the West Bank for three yearswithout coming back loses his/her citizenship. For that reason, I came to the West Bank everythree years during that period, to renew and to register my children as West Bank citizens. I didthe same for my children Fadi, in 1982, Dima in 1989, my twins 'Aref and Anis, in 1992, Ahmad,in 1993, Amina, in 1994 and Tareq, in 1995. I registered all my children in me and my wife’sidentity cards by returning from Saudi Arabia to the West Bank, where the Israelis at the AllenbyBridge in Jericho added them to my card and my wife’s card.

In 1999, a new law was issued in Saudi Arabia that states that whenever any non-Saudi departsthe country, he loses his right to return to Saudi Arabia for work. This law has concernedworkers and officials who, like me, have annual contracts. From here my tragedy started. In1999, my wife gave birth to our youngest daughter, Nour, and due to the new Saudi law, I wasnot able to return back and register her with my identity card as I did with her siblings. On 22July 2004, I went to Jordan with my wife and all my children, and early the second day we wentto the Allenby Bridge, towards Toubas. When we reached the Jordanian border, the Jordanianpolicemen refused to give my daughter Nour permission to pass through the Israeli borderbecause she was five years and two months. I asked the Jordanian policemen to let me reachto the Israeli border in an attempt to convince the Israelis to register my daughter in my identitycard, but they absolutely rejected my request. The Jordanian police asked me to go to theIsraeli Embassy in Jordan.

My wife and children continued their trip to the West Bank while I accompanied my daughterNour to the Israeli Embassy located in al-Rabiya in Amman. At the Embassy, I told theJordanian Liaison officer the story of my daughter Nour, and he told me to get her a Jordanianpassport and come back to him. I immediately went to al-Rusayfa town in Jordan and got aJordanian passport for my daughter Nour. I returned back to the Israeli Embassy, butsurprisingly, that same Jordanian officer told me that he could not do anything for cases likeNour’s. I asked to meet the Israeli ambassador, but my request was rejected, and the officer toldme that the ambassador could not meet anybody now, and that I have to come back on Sunday.That day was Thursday, and I waited until Sunday when I met the Israeli ambassador to Jordan.But before I meet him, I met an Israeli official and told her Nour’s problem, and she told me thatNour needed to obtain a visa to enter the 1948 occupied territories or Israel, and that shecannot be given a visa to the 1967 occupied territories.

When I met with the ambassador, I told him Nour’s story and told him that the Jordaniansprohibited me from reaching the Israeli border at the Allenby Bridge because Nour is five yearsand two months, although children born outside the West Bank to a parent holding thePalestinian identity card have the right to hold the same identity card by registering them withthe card of one of the parents. This is provided that they are added to the identity card of one ofthe parents before they are five years old. After discussing the whole issue with theambassador, he told me that this issue is not within his jurisdiction, and his mission is to issuevisit visas to Israel, adding that I may find a solution to my problem in the Palestinian Embassyin Amman. I went to the Palestinian Embassy and met the Palestinian ambassador who told methat he has no solution to my problem, and if he could do anything, he would help all thePalestinians to return to the West Bank.

I returned to the Israeli Embassy in an attempt to find a solution, but without any results. I wasfrustrated and realized that this problem had no solution. I was torn between my children andwife in Toubas and my daughter Nour — what could I do with her? After much thinking, Idecided to leave her with my old aunt in Irbed, Jordan, and I went to Toubas, to live with my wifeand children. After around two months, Nour was taken to al-Huson in Jordan to live with mycousin’s family. No words can express my sadness and psychological situation because mydaughter lives away from the family. Her mother lives a worse situation, as she does not stopcrying over her youngest daughter. Does any person in the world accept that a small child livesin a country away from her parents and siblings? Please help me take this family out of thisstate of sadness, misery and frustration!

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, on 4 January 2005
Signature: Ghaleb 'Aref Anis Daraghma

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2021/2004
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 4 January 2005
  • Name: Ghaleb 'Aref Anis Daraghma
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