Affidavit No. 4901/2009

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall be subjected to penal action, I, the undersigned, Usama Ahmad Mahmoud Rasras, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 909512386, born on 24 April 1970, an employee, and a resident of Kreisa village, Doura town, Hebron Governorate, would like to declare the following:

My family and I come from al-Falouja. Most residents of this town were displaced after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. I have been married to my relative Sonia Yasin Ahmad Rasras since 2001. She is originally from the Gaza Strip and holds an ID card, which was issued there. Although we have been married for several years, we have been unable to change my wife’s registered address - which is mentioned on her ID card - from Gaza to al-Falouja. The Israeli occupying authorities in charge have imposed restrictions on the ability of Palestinians to change their registered residency.

When we got married, we organised our wedding party in the besieged Gaza Strip. We were forced to live under the siege in Gaza for 11 consecutive months. Then, we finally obtained a permit from the occupying authorities allowing us to leave the Gaza Strip and return to the West Bank.

As a result of the siege and our inability to change my wife’s registered address, my wife did not visit her family in Gaza for about five years. We were worried that if she went to Gaza, she would be unable to leave and return to the West Bank. In the meantime, my wife and I had two children, who were both born in Hebron, in the West Bank: Ahmad was born 2 August 2004, and Dalal was born on 13 April 2007.

In December 2007, my father-in-law got very sick and my wife went to Gaza to visit him on 26 December 2007. She took our children along with her. Since then, the occupying authorities have not allowed them to return to the West Bank either jointly or separately.

It should be noted that both my children are registered in my ID card under a West Bank address. Since she was born, my daughter Dalal has been suffering from atrophy in her brain, causing her complete paralysis, an optic atrophy, and a deflection in the spine.

Therefore, she cannot walk, talk or sit. On 28 February 2008, we received a medical transfer to treat Dalal at Saint Joseph
Hospital in Jerusalem at the expense of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah. However, the Israeli occupying authorities refused to issue a permit for Dalal and her mother to leave the Gaza Strip in order to travel to Jerusalem. Through the Palestinian District Coordination Office, I had applied for a permit to access Jerusalem several times.

Later, we received a medical transfer from the Palestinian Authority to treat Dalal in Jordan. My wife and children finally managed to leave Gaza for Jordan on 17 January 2009. In Jordan, Dalal received various kinds of treatments. She was in need of surgery in her eyes and her left leg as well as of therapeutic treatment. On 8 April 2009, Dalal had her eye surgery in Jordan. On Thursday, 30 April 2009, my wife and children tried to return to the West Bank through Allenby Bridge, a crossing point which connects Jordan with the West Bank.

However, the occupying authorities did not allow my family to cross. An Israeli officer told my wife that if she wanted to access the West Bank, the Palestinian District Coordination Office would have to coordinate her passage with the responsible Israeli authorities. Consequently, my wife talked to the Palestinian District Coordination Office, but to no avail. My family are stranded in Jordan until today.

For the past year and a half, my wife and I have regularly appealed to the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs and to the Israeli occupying authorities at Erez Crossing in an attempt to allow my family’s return to the West Bank. All our efforts have been in vain. Despite the fact that I received a medical transfer from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, I had to pay a sum of 550 Jordanian dinars to the Ibn al-Haytham Hospital in Jordan to cover Dalal’s surgery because surgeries based on medical transfers issued by the Palestinian Authority are no longer covered.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4901/2009
  • Field researcher: Hisham Sharabati
  • Affidavit Date: 13 May 2009
  • Name: Usama Ahmad Mahmoud Rasras
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