Misbah Al-Tabel (“Ali”) is a resident of Nablus. In 1990, he married Lulu Al-Tabel, an Israeli citizen from Dabouriye in the Galilee. Initially his wife’s application for permanent residency for Ali was answered positively. In October 1991, however, he was informed of the cancellation of his permanent residency due to his criminal record. In exchange for his Israeli ID card he was then handed a green West Bank ID forbidding entrance to Israel.
On July 14, 1992, the Human Rights Association (HRA) sent a letter to the Interior Ministry in Afula asking a reconsideration of the case. The HRA argued that Misbah’s criminal offense was committed when he was still a minor (the then 16 year old was convicted of participating in a murder during a family dispute two years earlier), and that the fact that his sentence was reduced from the original 10-year sentence to 4 years imprisonment for good conduct should be considered accordingly. This letter and two others sent later remained unanswered.
During this period, Lulu Al-Tabel frequently visited the Ministry of Interior in Afula where she was told by Mr. Avino’am Yehezkeli, Director of the local Population Administration, that he was not interested in solving problems through the HRA. He advised her to hire a different lawyer. In a testimony to the HRA signed by Mrs. Al-Tabel she states that “Mr. Yehezkeli told me repeatedly that my husband should go to see the officer of the Shabak (General Security Services) responsible for the region in the Occupied Territories in which he resides. He should speak with them to find out what they want because the Shabak, not the Interior Ministry, is withholding the ID card.”
Since February 1992, the HRA has been corresponding with the Interior Ministry and the State Comptroller, complaining against the attitude of negligence shown by the Afula department of the Interior Ministry and demanding a re-evaluation of the case. In the meantime the Interior Ministry has confirmed that the Israeli ID initially handed to Misbah was withdrawn following an urgent order by Mr. Tov, General Director of the Population Administration. The couple is still waiting for the outcome of international discussion and procedures in the offices of the State Comptroller and the Ministry of Interior.
Misbah and Lulu have two sons, Fadi born in August 1991, and Adam born in March 1993. When Lulu registered her second son at the Interior Ministry, she was told to throw away the original form attached to her ID card which carries the ID number of her husband, and she was handed a new from not mentioning her husband’s ID number.
Misbah has been without any ID card since February 1993, when he was supposed to exchange his green ID card for a regular one. The Civil Administration in Nablus did not give him his old West Bank ID card claiming that he has an Israeli ID card. And life without an identity card is a nightmare, especially in these times of closure, when roadblocks inside the West Bank are numerous, and when your wife and children are living on the other side of the green line ...