love, a title of peace

Dheisheh Refugee Camp  I   2018

This is a real story of a Palestinian woman and an Israeli man.
The woman, having divorced her first husband, lived with her children in a Palestinian refugee camp in the Westbank. Because of shortage of money and as the earnings in Israel are far better than in the Westbank, she took a job as a housemaid in Israel.

 

There, she met an Israeli who fell in love with her. He asked to marry her, she denied, as Muslim women are not allowed to marry men of other religions. The man decided to convert to Islam and she agreed to the marriage. He moved to her house in the refugee camp in the Palestinian Westbank, causing gossip and skepticism in the camp.
The refugees suspect the marriage to be a perfect camouflage for an Israeli espionage.

Ironically, she could only marry a Jewish man as no Muslim would have married her since a divorced woman is considered inferior.

The couple brought to the world three children, but the kids have neither an Israeli passport nor a Palestinian ID, which means they do not exist on paper and it is causing a lot of bureaucratic obstacles like no legal social or health services, no official school or university to attend and therefore not much future perspectives. 

I got to know the family when I lived in the camp. A year later I received a message that one of their kids, was shot dead during an Israeli military operation in the camp.
When I came back this spring, I learnt the man died mysteriously a few weeks before. One day he went to Jerusalem and two days later his wife received the message of his death. The corpse was never returned to the family for burial.

In the photo, the older son poses in place of the "deceased" husband.

Copyright of all images Verena Prenner 2020