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Ocsana Bik lives constantly under the fear of deportation

Ocsana Bik,

physician

Muhammad al-Amleh

My name is Ocsana Bik and I am married to Tarif Amin Muti'a Abu Saleh. We married in 1993, when we were studying in Russia .

My husband completed his studies in 1998 and returned to Nablus . I stayed in Russia with our daughter, Arij, who was born on 13 December 1994. I finished my studies the following year, and my husband obtained a permit for me to visit in the West Bank . I arrived in Nablus in August 1999. My permit was for seven months, and I stayed there for eight months. I went back to Russia in April 2000. My husband requested another visitor's permit for me. This time the request was denied, because I remained in the area after my previous permit had expired. He had to make three more requests before I got the permit.

I arrived in Nablus in early October 2000. When the permit expired, I did not return to Russia . I didn't want to leave my husband and Arij, and I was afraid that if I left, the authorities wouldn't let me back in. I requested an extension, but I did not receive an answer.

Ocsana Bik with her children, Family photo.

Ocsana Bik with her children, Family photo. />

On 5 June 2001, I gave birth to our daughter Diana at al-Makassed Hospital , in Jerusalem . She was born there because I received special treatment at the hospital during the last three months of my pregnancy, and Diana was born prematurely. Each time, I went by ambulance from Nablus to 'Anata, from which I walked over an extremely hilly path. Even though I had medical documents, I was afraid I would get caught and be deported. I had no choice but to trek hours by foot, which was hard on me physically and mentally.

I was constantly afraid that soldiers would catch me and I would be deported. If that happened, not only wouldn't I be able to return here any more, my life and that of the fetus might be at risk. Our third daughter, Sarra, was born on 6 June 2004. I live in fear and am afraid to have more children.

In April 2004, my husband submitted a request for family unification on my behalf. Over the years, he checked with the Palestinian Interior Ministry about the possibility of requesting family unification, but they told him that Israel was not accepting requests. When our situation became intolerable, he went and made the request. The officials at the Interior Ministry told him they would hold on to the request and hand it over to the Israeli side when the Israelis begin processing family unification requests again.

Arij, who was born in Russia , is recorded in my identity card. Diana and Sarra are recorded on their father's identity card.

Ocsana Bik, 31, married and mother of three girls is a physician who lives with her husband in Nablus. Her testimony was given to Salma Salma a-Deb'i, at al-Ittihad Hospital on 26 July 2005.