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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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Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy

Final Statement of the Palestinian Civil Society Conference,
Cyprus, 16–18 October 2007

As part of the effort by the Palestinian civil society organizations to overcome the state of forced Palestinian fragmentation and consolidate the national role of the Palestinian NGOs in all their places of residence, a conference titled "Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy" was held in Agros, Cyprus, between 16 and 18 October 2007 at the initiative of Ittijah-The Union of Arab Community Based Associations. Forty-four participants representing a broad sector of Palestinian civil society networks, coalitions, and associations in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Kuwait, in addition to a number of international partner organizations supporting Palestinian rights, attended the conference. The Israeli occupation authorities banned the travel of a delegation representing civil society organizations in Gaza.

The conference discussed a number of issues, notably: The Palestinian situation and Palestinian, regional, and international developments, including the Annapolis conference; the collective Palestinian strategy against the forced fragmentation; the endeavors to rebuild terms of reference and assert the constant Palestinian principles; the strategy of collective Palestinian advocacy; Palestinian media strategies; and local and international coordination on the Palestinian question.

The participants in the conference set bases that would help strengthen the overall Palestinian struggle for liberation in all its contexts: the occupation, the displacement and uprooting, and the assault on Palestinian existence in the 1948 areas.

A draft of a collective organizational structure and an action plan were also devised, and a follow-up committee to implement this plan and lead the agreed process was set up.

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