Bil’in father prevented from visiting 5-year-old son in Israeli hospital because of activism against settlements

on 12 Comments
Carmi al Khatib (left) and Haithan al Khatib (inset). (Photo: Facebook)

Carmi al Khatib is a 5 year old boy from the Palestinian village of Bil’in. Soon after his birth it was discovered he had Leukemia and began treatment in Israel and fortunately, after years of illness, managed to overcome the cancer and survived. However, very recently, Carmi was hospitalised again suffering from a rare
disease known to his family from birth which is now causing further difficulties and complications. His mother, Khawal is with him at the hospital and, up until recently, so was his father Haitham al Khatib. The Civil Administration (CA) is Israel’s military arm of the government in the West Bank that deals with civilian issues such as issuing permits. Haitham’s most recent permit, issued for a month to visit his son expired about two weeks ago. Since expiring he has tried and failed to get another permit to see his son in hospital. The CA stated that the General Security Services (GSS) declared him a threat to the state and refused to renew his permit. Carmi will be in hospital until the end of November.

What has changed in that month and a half that now prevents him from visiting his son in hospital? Haitham received a permit 5 years ago for about 6 months when his son was first in hospital, during that period of time and since, the IDF has held excursions and exercises in Bil’in. Haitham would document these raids in the village which sometimes ended in random arrests and mostly always ending with something destroyed. For 4 years after this the CA refused Haitham a permit on the grounds that he is a threat to the state of Israel. All the while his son is in and out of hospital for long periods of time. His most recent permit expired over a week ago and Haitham has been trying and failing to get another permit since. Lest it not be clear; when permits are issued for hospitals Palestinians from the West Bank can only be in the hospital grounds. They are not allowed outside the gate of the hospital. This can be from one day to a few months depending of the nature of the situation.

Haitham is involved in the popular struggle in the village of Bil’in. For years the village has struggled against the Israeli occupation, building of settlements and the Separation Wall all of which resulted in Israel annexing land from Bil’in. From tying themselves to trees to taking their case to the Supreme Court they were able to shift the route. Continuing till today and until the wall comes down and the settlements stop developing Haitham and others find innovative way to ensure people do not forget the consistent violation of human rights in the occupied territories.

The state of Israel, the IDF, and their supporters use this activism as blackmail — if you participate there is less chance you will receive a permit. Haitham’s story is, unfortunately, not unique. Those seeking permits in and out of Gaza are asked to become informants on top of ‘paying’ for their way into Israel and treatment. When one village began struggling against the slow encroachment of a settlement on their land (and the military presence that comes with it) workers in the nearby Israeli-run industrial estate were told to stop participating the protests or they would lose their jobs. Needless to say the struggle and protests ended in that village on a popular level. This is to say nothing of the lack of union or union support for Palestinian workers in Israeli business in the occupied territories.

Israel is the self-proclaimed only democracy in the Middle East

About Hamde Abu Rahme

Hamde Abu Rahme is a photojournalist based in the West Bank village of Bil'in. He is the author of the book Roots Run Deep. You can follow his work on Facebook here.

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12 Responses

  1. DICKERSON3870
    November 5, 2012, 3:53 pm

    RE: “Haitham’s most recent permit, issued for a month to visit his son expired about two weeks ago. Since expiring he has tried and failed to get another permit to see his son in hospital. The CA stated that the General Security Services (GSS) declared him a threat to the state and refused to renew his permit.” ~ Hamde Abu Rahme

    FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    [EXCERPTS] . . . It was [Ariel] Sharon who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness
    …It suits Israel to have a ‘state’ without borders so that it can keep negotiating about borders, and count on the resulting uncertainty to maintain acquiescence

    SOURCE –

    P.S. ALSO SEE: Learned helplessness


    • seafoid
      November 6, 2012, 1:03 pm

      I wonder what proportion of the sociopaths who run this system are religious and believe that Moshiach will come to Erez Israel because the return to Zion is the fulfilment of Scripture.

  2. Kate
    November 6, 2012, 11:06 am

    UPDATE from Haitham!

    I want to thank everyone who helped me to get a permit to visit my son in the hospital in Jerusalem … and here I want to tell you that there are dozens of people who suffer the same problem… today … 06/11/2012

    • seafoid
      November 6, 2012, 1:07 pm

      It’s great that he got the permit but the system persists. When is the last time an Israeli Jew was denied the right to visit her sick child in hospital? wouldn’t that be inhuman as well as antisemitic ?

  3. seafoid
    November 6, 2012, 3:23 pm

    And some context_ why is there no suitable hospital in the west bank? Because israel strangles anything that would potentially lead to the lifting of the palestinians’ total dependancy on their sociopathic neighbours.

  4. Obsidian
    November 7, 2012, 1:14 am

    “And some context_ why is there no suitable hospital in the west bank?”

    Good question considering the billions in foreign aid that the PA receives.

    “When is the last time an Israeli Jew was denied the right to visit her sick child in hospital?”

    Mr. al Khatib isn’t an Israeli citizen so the more accurate question should have been, “When is the last time an Israeli Arab was denied the right to visit her sick child..”.
    Probably never.
    Israeli Arabs are treated side by side with Jews in Israeli hospitals and much of the staff in these hospitals are Israeli Arabs.

    BTW. Is Israel under any legal compunction to treat the child to begin with or is this strictly a humanitarian gesture?

    • Cliff
      November 8, 2012, 2:56 am

      The fact that some hospitals employ Israeli Arabs ‘alongside’ Israeli Jews does not erase history such as it is and turn Israel onto a benevolent actor.

      Israel is a colonial settler State that is destroying what is left of Historic Palestine.

      Israel discriminates against its minorities – most of whom are Palestinians who were not ethnically cleansed by Jewish terrorist militias and the then iteration of the Israeli army during the Nakba.

      If I want to learn about the status of minority rights and the Israeli Arab experience, I won’t be relying on Zionist memes and slogans like ‘Israeli Arabs work alongside blah blah’.

      I will read and hear what Israeli Arab minority groups have to say. Adalah has put out many studies and reports. There is plenty of documentation on how Israel treats its minorities.

      These are scholarly sources – not some folksy bullshit a Zionist troll spits out reflexively at the sight of opposition to Zionist colonialism.

      Obsidian’s comment is so common. It would be easy (but exhausting) to find the same bullshit propaganda meme (the colonized and the colonizer working in a hospital – as if that pretty picture changes the bigger picture) among comments made by ALL MW Zio-trolls – past and present.

      I remember gulag using that same line awhile ago as a matter of fact.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 8, 2012, 8:09 am

      “Mr. al Khatib isn’t an Israeli citizen”

      He’s been under the control of the Jews in the israeli government since 1967, and that government permits Jews to steal and invade his land at will, yet those same israeli Jews have prevented him from having rights and the vote simple because of his ethno-religious background. Rather than a relevant distinction, your statement is an indictment of the racism at the heart and core of judeo-supremacist ideology of zionism. Zionism = Racism.

      “When is the last time an Israeli Arab”

      They’re called Palestinians, bigot.

      “Probably never.”

      Oh, please. The Jews in the israeli government kept them under martial law for a generation based on nothing but the fact that they weren’t Jews.

      “Is Israel under any legal compunction to treat the child to begin with ”


    • talknic
      November 8, 2012, 9:41 am

      Obsidian November 7, 2012 at 1:14 am

      “BTW. Is Israel under any legal compunction to treat the child to begin with or is this strictly a humanitarian gesture?”

      It’s an obligation on the Occupying Power under the UN Charter Chapt XI and Geneva Convention IV Art. 55. Having chosen to take the role of Occupying Power, Israel is responsible … UN Charter Article 73 “Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories, and, to this end: etc etc”
      and GC IV Art 55
      “To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate”

      BTW The wars, ceasefire agreements, Armistice Agreements were between High Contracting Powers. So GC IV is applicable, esp in respect to the ’67 and subsequent wars
      the GC’s protect all civilians, including Israelis. Under the Armistice Agreements and GC IV, the civilians of the Occupying Power, Arab or Jew, are prohibited from entering (esp settling in) “territories occupied” …. for their own safety. Yet successive Israeli Governments have purposefully encouraged civilians to put themselves in breach of the GCs and Armistice Agreements. Weird!

      • Obsidian
        November 8, 2012, 12:15 pm



  5. gamal
    November 7, 2012, 11:17 pm

    yes Obs because Judea, Samaria and Gaza are foreign countries, you guys are a laugh a minute, how did all those foreigners end up in what Israeli tourist maps, school books and vocal supporters of Zionism think is Israel, and Israel rules, despite threadbare denials, the fiendish cunning of orientals no doubt. Wouldnt the more accurate question be has this ever happened to an Israeli settler living in the west bank, i wouldnt hazard a guess, what do you think?

    “Probably never”, i love your confidence.

    what is it with compunction and compulsion, has the language evolved with out anyone telling me.

  6. talknic
    November 8, 2012, 9:52 am

    “Israel is the self-proclaimed only democracy in the Middle East”

    Problem …. The State of Israel was not officially proclaimed as a democracy

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