Blue and Green IDs

My name is Fatheah Abu Hilal, and I am from Beit Hanina, a town near Jerusalem. I have five brothers and five sisters, and I am the oldest child in our family . I want to tell you that Beit Hanina is divided in to pieces by the Apartheid Wall. My father has a green (West Bank) ID and my mother has the blue (Israeli) ID . When I was born , my mother was 13 years old and did not then have any ID. So my parents put me on my father’s ID . When my mother was sixteen she was given a blue ID, and so all my brothers and sisters were put her blue ID.

When I was sixteen years old I was given , like my father, a green ID . I then married in Abu Dis and my husband also has a green ID . After this my mother managed to get my father a blue ID . So because I am married to West Banker, I am the only person in my family with a green ID.

Before the Wall, it was easier to pass through to the other side of Beit Hanina .There used to be areas of the barrier which were low enough to climb over. But now the Wall is nine meters high and completely closed , so this is now impossible .

If I want to go to visit my family I must obtain a permit.   The only way to get this is for medical reasons . Sometimes I go to the hospital and pay for a check up that I don’t really need,to get to the other side of the Wall, and I must  get a piece of paper to prove I have been, because if I don’t do this, the hospital will not give me permission to go another time .

One time, Israeli soldiers stopped me in the street near my family home in Beit Hanina . On this day I had managed to climb over the barrier (before the wall was completed) to visit my family . They asked what I was doing there with a green ID , and said that I was not allowed to be there . They took me away and made me wait for three hours . Then they interrogated me. I told them that this was my city and I was born, raised and educated here, and that I had just come to visit my family.

They took my fingerprints and put my details on record, and because of that it is now more difficult for me to go to Beit Hanina . I must wait for my family to come to visit me here in Abu Dis. It is not easy for them to come and visit me so I don’t see them very often. They come for Eid just for 10 minutes or so as they have so many other people to visit. If my family wants to visit me they must go a long way round as the wall is in the way.

There are times when it is very important to go to your home town, for example weddings and funerals. However I am not able to go to these.

I also know so many families in the same or similar situations, some husbands and wives can’t live together if they have different colour IDs. This is one of my problems.

The Wall in Abu Dis separates many families, husbands and wives, parents and children .I have a friends, her name is Sohad , she lives in Sheyah, and her husband lives in Abu Dis . She has five children. There is a gate nearby. Her husband called her one day and asked her to come quickly as there were no soldiers near the gate. When he started to climb the gate, the soldiers came. So the father had to jump back the way her came. The mother came with her child who started to cry when they saw their father. She asked,” Why are you crying?”  Her child said, “ I want to see my father! She said, “You saw him! He tried to jump but he couldn’t. “

But the child said “No! I saw his jacket not his face!”

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