Israeli occupation deported 14-year-old epileptic Palestinian girl from West Bank to Gaza Strip earlier this month, without notifying her parents.
Israeli occupation border police abducted Ghada from Jerusalem on 13 January under the pretext of being in the holy city without a permit.
She was traveling back to her home in Al-Ram, just northeast of Jerusalem, where she lives with her mother and siblings, from her aunt’s home in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya.
Her father, though originally from the Gaza Strip, currently lives in the West Bank as well, her mother told Israeli human rights group HaMoked, which is representing the family.
When Ghada was born in the West Bank, the Israeli occupation authorities listed her address as Gaza for an unknown reason.
Following her abduction, Ghada was interrogated by the Israeli police and taken to a remand hearing at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court two days later, during which her parents were not present.
Deported to Gaza
The Israeli occupation police requested the court extend her detention, but citing her age Judge Eitan Cohen ordered her released. Her family paid NIS1,500 bail ($450).
It was not the first time that the Israeli occupation forces abduct Ghada for not having the right Israeli army-issued permit.
Unlike those previous instances; however, this time the Israeli occupation authorities deported her to a place she had never been, where she had only distant relatives whom she had never met, and without notifying her parents of where she was.
According to HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, Ghada was woken up by prison guards at 5:00am on January 15 and told that she was going to be released at the Israeli occupation army’s Qalandiya Checkpoint, which is just a few minutes’ drive from her hometown.
Instead, after hours of travel, Israel Prison Service officers dropped her off — after dark — Erez Crossing, the only passenger terminal connecting Israel to Gaza.
According to Ghada, a representative of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the Gaza side of the crossing noticed she was visibly distressed and took her to his home, where she stayed with his family overnight.
The next day, the PA official helped Ghada get in touch with her mother to let her know what had happened. She is currently staying with her father’s relatives, whom she had never met.
Ghada suffers from epilepsy and has seizures every three to six months. She is currently undergoing medical treatment as she is being treated at Al-Amal Medical Centre in Al-Ram.
Gaza address in West Bank
According to HaMoked, there are approximately 21,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank but whose addresses are listed as Gaza.
Israel, which controls the Palestinian population registry, refuses to update their address and considers them “illegal aliens” unless they have have a special military permit to live in the West Bank.
In 2012, following a High Court petition, the Israeli military committed not to deport Palestinians with a Gaza address if they had moved to live in the West Bank before Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005.
According to data provided by the military to HaMoked, 27 Palestinians in the West Bank were forcibly returned to the Gaza Strip last year, marking a sharp increase from previous years.