Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Swear an oath, and PAY UP.

Some continuing fallout from the March 31 raid on Tuba (see press release and video from the incident).

One of the young men, Mahmoud*, whose home was searched, lost his ID in the process. Once the family put things back in order, which took awhile, they realized his ID was missing.

The family then turned their house upside-down again, searching for his ID, to no avail. All signs point to the possibility that the Israeli Police took Mahmoud's ID when they searched the house. At one point, the Police were looking at each of the IDs in the house, asking the father where all of his sons were. The sons didn't have their IDs with them because they ran from the house and hid when the police arrived, fearing they would be arrested or beaten. The ID went missing right after the police searched the house.
Being a Palestinian without an ID is an arrestable offense. Palestinians tend to carry their ID with them at all times because the Israeli occupation forces are known for making problems for those who don't.

Our calls and requests for help regarding Mahmoud's ID didn't turn up anything so Mahmoud* went to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Interior to see about getting a new ID.

After returning, Mahmoud's report about his visit was nothing short of shocking. The Ministry of Interior told him that he would have to swear an oath of the Koran, stating that the Israeli Police took his ID, and then pay 700 NIS (nearly $175) to get a new ID.

So, if Mahmoud swears that the Israeli Police stole his ID, placing his hand on the Koran and swearing he had nothing to do with its disappearance, then, and only then, does he get the privilege of paying 700NIS to get a new ID. Wait, come again?

Oh also, the Israeli government is heavily involved in the issuing of new Palestinian IDs, and have been ever since 1967.
Since the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority, the PNA issues its residents with Palestinian ID cards based on Israeli approval. (Wikipedia)
Based on Israeli approval...why doesn't that surprise me?

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