Know More About Palestine

Thursday April 15, 2010 7:39 AM (EST+7)
Jerusalem 'No Man's Land' traps Palestinian couples

Read more: Jerusalem, occupied territory, Palestinian ID

RAMALLAH,  Apr. 15 (JMCC) - The divide between Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank has become part of the common struggle in the daily lives of Palestinians. Many have found themselves cut off from the city of their birth, others from the sites of their faith.

Yet, hardly anyone feels the constraints of Israel's occupation of Jerusalem more than the families which it divides.

The problem? Roula is from Jerusalem; Bayan is from the West Bank.

Palestinians from Jerusalem can travel freely between the West Bank and Israel, but to maintain their residency permits they have to live within the Jerusalem municipal boundaries. Most Palestinians from the West Bank don't have permission to cross the wall Israel has built in and around the occupied territory.

So to be together, Roula and Bayan had to move away from both their families to Kufr Aqab -- which has become the only place where Jerusalemites and West Bankers can live together.

'The Only Solution'

It's the only solution for me, says Roula, who has wide brown eyes and a Cheshire cat smile. I have no other place to live with my husband. He's a West Banker and I cannot live in an area in the West Bank, nor he can live in an area in Jerusalem, so it's the middle.

Israel currently has laws restricting family reunification and does not allow Palestinians to take Israeli citizenship, even if they are marrying an Israeli citizen.

Read more from NPR....






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