Amal Zeiniyeh, 32

"I was separated from my husband, and for two years I could not obtain an Israeli permit to go see him."

My husband is an agricultural engineer who works for the government. I married him when I was 20. I was a housewife living a happy and calm life.

But, when conflict between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority started, my husband moved to the West Bank to work because of the division. I was separated from my husband, and for two years I could not obtain an Israeli permit to go see him in the West Bank, and he could not enter Gaza due to the division.

We did not see each other for two years, except through Skype and Facebook. I tried ceaselessly to obtain a medical referral to the West Bank for my small baby, who was one-year-old at the time, and to exit with him. After a long and painful struggle, I obtained the permit and went to meet my husband after 30 months of separation.

People with families in other parts of the occupied Palestinian territory are blocked from seeing their relatives.

I reached the West Bank—which is only one hour and a half from here—after two and a half years of waiting. I rejoined my husband thanks to a temporary permit. I stayed in Ramallah, remaining at home to regain my life as a wife and mother, but I still endure separation.

Now there is another kind of suffering. I cannot see my parents or the parents of my husband except through the internet. It is as if we are living in a different world. In other parts of the world people visit each other. As for us, we try constantly but to no avail.

 

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