In his chapter in Light on Gaza: Writings Born of Fire--“Travel Restrictions as a Manifestation of Nakba: Gaza, the Path Backward Is the Path Forward”--Yousef Aljamal writes about the continuation of the Nakba as manifested through Israel’s control of Palestinians’ freedom of movement. He speaks of his own family’s story, torn between the West Bank and Gaza and unable to connect for years if not decades at a time. His family, which he says is emblematic of the Palestinian situation with regards to restrictions of movement, is forcibly separated even though mere miles away, forced to miss family members’ funerals, and even to watch their own relatives die due to Israel’s restrictions on Gazans’ ability to travel for simple surgeries.
As a November 2022 B’Tselem publication, "Married but Apart" shows, this is the case for thousands of Palestinian families. The report specifically focuses on families in which one spouse lives in the West Bank and the other in Gaza. Israel denies these families the right to live together in the West Bank, in extension of their policy of isolating and restricting Palestinians in Gaza. This is a harsh burden particularly for women from Gaza who have married men from the West Bank, and are repeatedly denied permits to unite their families. They must choose between various levels of separation, either from their husband or their husband’s family in the West Bank, and often from their children as well. B’Tselem spoke to several women about the separation they have endured, and recorded some of their testimonies.
To read B'Tselem's publication "Married but Apart," click here.