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Home arrow Israeli Apartheid Structures arrow Born in Lakeland; detained by Israel
Born in Lakeland; detained by Israel PDF Print E-mail
Sep 05, 2007 at 12:00 AM
A family is told seven of their children cannot leave via Tel Aviv. 

St. Petersburg Times                 September 5, 2007  

By Meg Laughlin, Times Staff Writer

Lakeland -- A large Lakeland family has been split in two temporarily by complex Israeli travel restrictions that forced the mother to leave seven of her children behind when they attempted to fly home.  

On Aug. 18, Wedad Yacoub and 10 of her children -- all U.S. citizens -- were returning from a family visit in the West Bank through Tel Aviv, the same airport through which they had arrived more than two months before.  

Israeli officials initially tried to block the family from leaving, saying they had to go through Jordan, a travel restriction that applies to Palestinian residents of the West Bank. Officials finally permitted Wedad Yacoub and her three youngest children to fly home, but the other seven children are still in the West Bank, two weeks later with no resolution in sight.  

"I can't believe that children who were born in Lakeland could have their American citizenship ignored by a country so friendly to the U.S," said Wedad.  

Even Israeli officials couldn't readily explain it.  

"American citizens born in America can't leave through Tel Aviv, where they came in?" asked Daniel Seaman, director of the Government Press Office in Israel. "This has to be inaccurate. This can't be."

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SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty Have Arrived in Larnaca, Cyprus
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

At 8:30 am Cyprus time, the Free Gaza and the Liberty rounded the last corner
of this lovely island, escorted by the Cypriot Coast Guard, and pulled into on
the Northern side of the commercial port in Larnaca.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to unify our group, which has been split
between Cyprus and Crete . We are excited to combine both groups who have worked
so hard on this project and are so enthusiastic about setting out for Gaza . On
the way in today, we had the Cypriot authorities escorting us. Now, it’s time
for the world to escort us to Gaza .” Said Paul Larudee, one of the
organizers.
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