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Siblings Seek Citizenship for Secret Palestinian Mother

Arab siblings from Lod reveal decades-long cover-up of their parentage, and seek citizenship for their real mother.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/16/2014, 11:50 AM

Young women in Gaza
Young women in Gaza
Flash 90

A group of Arab siblings from Lod, in central Israel, have filed a highly unusual request to the Ministry of the Interior.

The siblings, who are all registered as the children of two Arab citizens of Israel, say that their mother is actually a Palestinian Arab woman from Gaza, and are asking that she be granted citizenship, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The siblings say they always knew the truth about their mother’s identity. “Three years after our father died, the time has come to reveal the truth and to give mother what she deserves,” they told the ministry, adding, “The lie cannot continue.”

Their real biological mother was smuggled from Gaza to Israel to be their father’s secret second wife, they revealed. She left three children from an earlier marriage in Gaza.

She went on to give birth to seven children in Israel. All of the children were born at home, in order to avoid the mother’s lack of documentation being noticed.

The children were then registered as the biological offspring of their father and his first wife.

“Mother had no choice. She couldn’t oppose what father said, and accepted his orders, even though she knew that over the years the mistake was just snowballing, and that she wasn’t registered anywhere,” one of her sons said.

The son said that he has been forced to pay thousands of shekels every three months to arrange private health insurance for his mother, who is now 72 and requires medical care.

The siblings said, “Our father made a mistake. We know that, it’s a real problem. Now, after his death, the time has come to fix it.

“For all these years we realized something was amiss, but every time we asked him, he answered, ‘Patience, it will be alright.’ We didn’t have many options. Because we knew that if we went to the authorities, we might not see our mother again,” they said.

“At her age, it’s time to give her an identity,” they concluded.