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"Therefore I have decided to begin a hunger strike in front of the Israeli Embassy"

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Below, we document the release of Firas Maraghy.

Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

* (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
* (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

The Israeli authorities deny that right the residents of East Jerusalem every day. Israel thereby deliberately destroyes the lives of individuals and families, because they are deprived of their means of subsistence, and whole families are torn apart. I am one of those persons to whom the right to live in the country of their fathers and forefathers and return to it should be taken. And at the same time Israeli authorities refuse to to admit my daughter, born in December 2009, the right to live in Jerusalem.

Therefore I decided at 07/26/2010 17:00 to start a hunger strike in front of the Israeli Embassy as a protest against the denial of my legitimate right and the legitimate right of my daughter. The aim of this protest is to enforce my own law and that of my daughter to live in Jerusalem.

I am a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after the War of 1967. Diese Annektion hat die internationale Gemeinschaft zwar bis zum heutigen Tag nicht anerkannt, Israel entscheidet aber seither auch über das Schicksal der palästinensischen Bewohner der Stadt. Although this annexation is not recognized by the international community to this day, Israel decides the fate of the Palestinian inhabitants of the city since these times.

Since September 2007 I am in Germany because my wife was a student here until 2009, and she prepares now on a doctorate at a German university. After I had completed my first German course in May 2009 and I went to Jerusalem in order to renew my papers and to register my marriage, the Interior Ministry there told me, that I have lost all rights as a resident. Therefore I could not register my marriage and in the future my idetity card will also not be renewed. The reason given was that I now live outside the country. Not even the racist Israeli law that says a Palestinian from East Jerusalem should lose return right when you have lived years seven abroad enforces such behavior after such a short time (I was only about one and a half years in Germany). At the same time Israel issued a travel document - probably in the hope that I will not come back.

After our daughter was born in December 2009 my wife and I together with our daughter went in early April to the Israeli Embassy in order to register there and have an Israeli travel document issued to allow her, too. This was because we both believe that our daughter just like I have the right to live in Jerusalem. If she doesn't get this travel document, it may happen at any time, that Israeli border officials at the airport decide that she is denied entry or expelled from there. A German passport cannot protect from this danger.

In the embassy they let us fill out forms - only to nform us, on April 17th in writing, that our daughter could not be issued a travel document, because her mother was German. After this we wrote a letter to the Ambassador of Israel, which also has been answered negatively. My wife then wrote letters to MPs of all parties in the German Bundestag, the Foreign Office and the Federal Chancellery, in the hope to get at least help here.The few answers she got were also not very helpful.

I then wrote another letter to the Israeli Ambassador, in which I informed him next to other things specifically about that at 26/07/2010 17:00 I will start a hunger strike in front of the Israeli embassy. Even then, I have not got positive news from the Israeli embassy - merely expressions to have forwarded of my case from authority to authority.

The Israeli authorities had ample time to examine my situation and that of my daughter. Es entbehrt jeder Logik zu behaupten, die gleichen Behörden, die dies angeblich bereits vor Monaten getan haben, müssten sich mit dem Fall beschäftigen. It lacks all logic to say, the same authorities who allegedly have done this months ago, would have to examine the case. For this reason I have decided to start my protest as planned.

Firas Maraghy

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