Palestinian-American denied entry to Egypt because he was born in Gaza

Mohammad is seen with his daughter Fridarose in the picture.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Mohammad Hamad and his wife, Heather, had been planning their family’s monthlong trip to Egypt for a year.

The Wisconsin family was traveling to Egypt to visit Mohammad’s brother. It would have been the first time Mohammad would have seen his brother in 11 years; his wife and children had never met him.

But while his wife and American-born children were allowed to enter the country, Mohammad was turned back – despite travelling on his American passport and having the appropriate visa Egypt requires, the Milwaukee paper reported.

How far do Israel’s inhumane policies reach?

I know one American-born young man, whose family is from Gaza. His mother and sister decided to take advantage of the ‘eased’ border restrictions and plan on visiting the Strip this summer. Their 19-year-old son and brother won’t be making the trip with them because they are too fearful he will not be allowed to leave Gaza.

Seems there’s an age restriction – any male aged 16 to 35 years old may be held in the besieged Palestinian territory indefinitely. I have not confirmed this myself, but I since learned there is another American – born and raised here – whose family is from Gaza who has been trying to leave there for the past six months. Israel will not let him out, I’m told.

It’s incredible. American citizens. One is not permitted to leave Gaza, where he was visiting family, and return home to the only country he has known – the U.S. – and the other denied entry into Egypt because he was born in Gaza.

And the U.S. Department of State  can’t – or won’t – do a thing about it. The State Dept.’s website warns Americans from visiting Gaza, stating consular services may not be able to react to crisis in a “timely” manner.

The State Department strongly urges that U.S. citizens refrain from all travel to the Gaza Strip.  This recommendation applies to all U.S. citizens, including journalists and aid workers.  U.S. citizens should be aware that as a consequence of a longstanding prohibition on travel by U.S. government employees into the Gaza Strip, the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens there is extremely limited.

We’ve already known that the government of Egypt has been complicit in Israel’s illegal and unjust siege on Gaza. Now it seems it is helping Israel further humiliate anyone associated with the Strip.

But for the U.S. State Department to basically wash its hands of responsibility for its citizens traveling to Palestine seems to suggest Israel’s reach goes beyond our elected officials pockets. For the State Department, placating Israel and it’s rabid, pro-Zionist forces here also trumps the safety, welfare and dignified treatment of American citizens abroad.


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