Susan a-Zir,a Jordanian citizen married to a resident of the Territories, 2007

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September 2007

Since the beginning of the second intifada, Israel has frozen family unification in these cases. In addition, Israel has ceased issuing visitor's permits, which enabled families to live together legally in the West Bank and Gaza . As a result of the freeze policy, the foreign spouses of Palestinians, mostly women, have faced a cruel choice: leave the Occupied Territories and not be allowed to return to their spouses and children, or stay illegally and not be able to see their parents, siblings, and other relatives living in their native land. Many chose to remain in the West Bank and Gaza, and have thus been sentenced to a life of fear and constant threat of deportation; the problems inherent in moving in the West Bank without any valid identity document virtually makes them prisoners in their own homes and villages.