Checkpoint Dinner Date

"These identification cards can also impinge on Palestinians' right to family unification if a husband and wife hold different ID cards.

"Palestinians from Gaza who marry residents of the West Bank cannot move to the West Bank to live with their spouses," Marmur noted.

Furthermore, Palestinian ID-holders who marry those who do not have an ID live with the risk of forced separation. Children can only be registered under one parent, not both."

Israel's control over the Palestinian population is based on a system of colour-coded IDs in the occupied territories.

"Like many young married couples across the world, Claire and her husband have a five-year-plan. But instead of their main concern being how to deal with the imminent arrival of their first child, Claire’s family is facing the very real possibility of expulsion and exile.

Like scores of other foreigners married to Palestinians in the occupied territory, Claire — whose name has been changed to protect her identity, like all other women interviewed for this article — has struggled to navigate the labyrinthine Israeli bureaucratic process to obtain the necessary paperwork to reside in the West Bank with her husband."

Israel is in charge of giving foreign spouses in the West Bank visas, a power these spouses say has been increasingly abused. They described being issued ever-shorter visas ranging from two weeks t…

"I wasn’t just upset about missing my dad’s memorial service. Before I left the United States, I told my 4-year-old son that I was going on a trip because his grandpa had died. He cried a lot. Then he asked me if we could plant his grandfather back in earth like a plant and wait until he grows back. I told him we couldn’t. He said he would just use his imagination. I tried to use my imagination while I was being sent back from the border crossing — I tried to imagine my family’s land that I couldn’t plant my father back into.

When I returned home, my son asked me about the trip, and I had to tell him that I wasn’t able to go. He looked confused. I couldn’t explain the details — my work, Israel’s settlements and the occupation, its unjust laws that stifle civil society. I know I’ll have to tell him about all that someday."

I wanted to go back to the West Bank for a memorial service with my family. I was barred because I am a human rights advocate.

"When 23-year-old Yacout Alqam, a resident of East Jerusalem, first met her fiancé, she loved that he was “very kind. Very free. Everything.”

There was just one catch: “The problem of identification cards,” said Alqam, the wide smile on her small frame fading."

Kafr Aqab is no one's dream destination: the overcrowded neighborhood separated from adjacent East Jerusalem by Israel's barrier in the occupied West Bank is notorious for rutted roads, drugs and violence.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, three tales from Gaza of the impossible conditions for families and couples created by Israel’s closure of the Strip.

Here is a breakdown of the barriers to love Palestinians are faced with under Israel's apartheid ID system.

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Finding love isn't easy, but if you're a Palestinian living under Israel's apartheid policies, it's even harder -- you have to make sure your partner has the same ID card as you. Israel divides Palestinians into different ID cards, making it hard for loved ones to be together.

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A reminder on this Valentine's Day that due to Israel's apartheid policies that divide Palestinians into ID categories, many Palestinians are unable to be with the people they love.

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Institute for Middle East Understanding ( IMEU )

Israel's apartheid policies divide Palestinians into different ID categories, making it difficult for Palestinians to be with the people they love. These four couples talk about their stories of the barriers that they face. Check out Love Under Apartheid for more stories.

Rania, a translator, lives in the West Bank with her husband and children. She isn't able to visit Gaza, where she was born, without risking being separated from her family. When Rania's father was ill, she could not visit him. When he died, she could not attend his funeral. Watch and share her story.

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Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK

Israel's siege of Gaza denies Palestinians' freedom of movement.

Watch Rania's story now- and read more testimonies from Gaza here:


“When I started learning the ropes here I was told that after a woman gave birth I should call the ward, where they’d ask if the mother spoke Hebrew or Arabic. They were then assigned rooms accordingly. There were two kinds of rooms, crowded ones with six women and one bathroom, or more spacious ones for two or three women. Clearly the Arab women got the less comfortable ones. There is no such thing as separate but equal, the situation produces discrimination. Nurses often di...d not separate their politics from their work,” says this nurse.
“The really bad things happen in the delivery room where you can’t prove anything, since anything can be defined as a medical necessity. Discrimination starts there – Hadassah has four small and crowded delivery rooms and three spacious ones, one of which is considered the best. When I started working there an Arab woman in labor arrived and I put her there. Immediately, a few nurses showed up and told me that the room wasn’t for Arab women. I protested, saying that it’s not right but also illegal. In that case they agreed and let me finish delivering the baby. I quickly learned that this was an exception.”
She adds that discriminatory attitudes are also reflected in bedside manners. “This ward deals with healthy people. Delivery nurses have to be soft and supportive, but some of them can’t show empathy to Palestinian women, who are often treated disrespectfully, with family members rudely removed. Attitudes are often cold and harsh. When there are security concerns it’s much worse, with nurses making comments like ‘here’s another terrorist’ after a delivery. If I were a Palestinian woman I wouldn’t go there.”

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While no hospital in Israel has a policy of separating Jewish and Arab patients, testimonies show segregation is implemented in wards with doctors and management turning a blind eye.

Israeli lawmaker justifies segregation in maternity wards.

Smotrich also helped organize the anti-gay "Beast Parade" in 2006 and claimed that the arson in Duma which killed three family members, including 18-month old Ali Dawabshe, was not an act of terrorism.

Habayit Hayehudi politician, MK Bezalel Smotrich says he does not want his wife lying next to a woman whose baby will murder his child in another 20 years.

"New technology gives us a great way to communicate, but nothing replaces hugging my sisters and relatives."

Neamah, who now resides in the West Bank, was temporarily able to reunite with her family in Gaza for the first time in 14 years. Travel between the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza is restricted by Israel, and families are often separated for years.

Originally from Gaza, Neamah, a 65-year-old Palestinian woman, moved to Hebron in the West Bank when she married, and has settled and lived there happily with her husband and children ever since. But she always missed her Gazan family, especially as, over the years, travel between Gaza and the West…

Israel's apartheid policies are creating barriers to love. Palestinians are divided into ID categories and limited in where they can live and travel, and by extension, limited in whom they can love.

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"A Franco-Palestinian couple is racing against the clock after Israeli authorities in January detained and deported French consulate employee Elsa Lefort, then six-and-a-half months pregnant, preventing her from returning to her husband and their home in occupied East Jerusalem."

Love Under Apartheid presents Checkpoint Date: Two people confirm a date, but the obstacles they face might just make it impossible for them to have a normal dinner together. A humorous spin on a serious issue: the maze of Israeli checkpoints that detain and derail Palestinians on a daily basis.

For more information, check out

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Love Under Apartheid: 4 couples talk about daily restrictions they face due to Israeli policy.

"I never dreamed I would leave my country, but I also never dreamed I would be separated from the person I love."

Produced by Love Under Apartheid and the IMEU. For more on Love Under Apartheid visit:

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