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From the field

The Civil Administration prevents Randa Sammak and her children from living with her husband, her children's father

Randa Sammak, age 29

In the spring of 2000, I moved with my husband, Nidal Muhammad Mahmoud Samak, and our children, from the Gaza Strip to Zeita, north of Tulkarm. We moved in the hopes that our quality of life and my husband's work conditions would be better and easier. My husband wanted to enter Israel, which is easier to do from the West Bank. We rented an apartment in the heart of Zeita village, north of the city of Tulkarm. After we found a place, my husband and I submitted applications to change our address from the Gaza Strip to the Tulkarem area. The Israeli officials approved my application, but rejected my husband's. In December 2003, my husband entered Israel to work, and was arrested because he had no entry permit. He was held for three months, and when he was released, he was deported from prison straight to the Gaza Strip, because his ID card had been issued in Gaza.

Randa Samak and one of her children. Photo: 'Abd al-Karim Sa'adi, B'Tselem.
Randa Sammak and one of her children. Photo: 'Abd al-Karim Sa'adi, B'Tselem. />

I was certain that in the current situation, my husband would not be allowed to return to the West Bank, so I began applying for an entry permit into the Gaza Strip. I submitted four applications at the Palestinian District Coordination Office: in April 2004, in May 2004, in July 2004, and finally, in September 2004. All of my applications were rejected by the Israelis. I intend to continue filing applications to get entry permits for myself and my children. Our situation is very bad. Sometimes we don't even have a penny in the house with which to buy food. In order to feed my children, I am forced to beg and ask for charity from people whose situation is better than mine, and from neighbors, because my husband and I are unemployed. I don't know what I would have done without this help, how I could have sent my five daughters to school and bought them clothes. My husband is stuck in Gaza. He calls me twice a day. I don't know how long we will have to suffer until they allow us to be together.

Randa Husni 'Ali Samaak, age 29, is a housewife who lives in Zeita, in the Tulkarem district. Her testimony was taken by 'Abd el-Karim Sa'adi at her home, on September 29, 2004.