Reunited with family in the West Bank following removal to Gaza

Mahmoud Dweik was born in Gaza, and at the age of 11 he moved to the West Bank with his family. Unlike the rest of his family, Mahmoud is still listed as a resident of the Gaza Strip in the Palestinian population registry. He has been living in the West Bank for some 20 years, is married, and the father of three children ages 7, 6 and 2. His attempts to change his residency status over the years have been unsuccessful.

On January 9, 2011, Mahmoud was detained by the Israeli police while working in Rehovot without a permit. The police intelligence officer decided to remove him to Gaza immediately, without conducting a hearing and regardless of the fact that his "center of life" has been in the West Bank for the past two decades.

Mahmoud has no first degree family members in the Gaza Strip, and since he was removed he has gone from home to home, dependent on the charity of various family members, and completely cut off from his wife and children. Mahmoud’s request to the authorities to allow him to return to his home and family in the West Bank was rejected on April 3, 2011. As a result of Gisha’s request to the Gaza District Coordination Office, our monitoring of his case and constant reminders to the army by phone and in writing, on June 5, 2011, Mahmoud’s request to return home was approved after five months of waiting.