Monday, September 20, 2010
Jerusalem – The agonies and turmoil of life are ever-present in Palestinian prisoners’ families. For collective punishment, includes all the family members of a prisoner, from his parents and his children, to his brothers and sisters, and even to extended relatives and loved ones. This is what has happened to Mrs. Maram Ousnaf. Mrs. Ousnaf currently resides in Beit Rima, and is the sister of a Palestinian detainee (Majdi Rimawi) whom was involved in the assassination of the Israeli Minister of Tourism (Rehavam Ze’evi) in October 2001. Mrs. Ousnaf has subtly and firmly confronted the occupation’s arbitrary procedures, where the Israeli authorities prohibited her to enter Jerusalem to join her chronically-ill daughter seeking treatment in the city.
Along with her daughter and husband, Mrs. Ousnaf applied to obtain a travelling permit to enter Jerusalem, in order to accompany her daughter (15 years of age), diagnosed with leukemia, and whom is in need of immediate and intensive daily-medical treatment at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem. However, when the District Coordination Office (DCO) determined the relationship between Mrs. Ousnaf and Majdi Rimawi, the Israeli counterintelligence and internal security service (Shabak or Shin Bet), declined to render her a travelling permit for “security” reasons. They also claimed that there is a relationship between Mrs. Ousnaf and a Palestinian military faction.
At that moment, Mrs. Ousnaf and her husband visited the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) to pursue the case. JLAC’s attorney Mr. Haitham Al Khatib corresponded with the DCO, requesting their facilitation to issue a travelling permit for humanitarian purposes.
Haitham Al Khatib stated that the Israeli counterintelligence and internal security service’s allegations are false, and to have permitted the daughter to enter Jerusalem without her mother is arbitrary and inhumane.
Initially, the DCO’s responses were negative, declining her requests under the pretext of “security prevention”. This summoned JLAC, to lodge an urgent petition to the Administrative Court in Jerusalem. On September 7, 2010, the court ordered the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) to issue a travelling permit to Mrs. Ousnaf in order for her to reach the hospital immediately, based on the medical reports JLAC submitted to the court. Ultimately, Mrs. Ousnaf rejoined her daughter during her medical treatment.