01-30-2016, 07:55 PM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2013
UK/Palestine: Sutton/Ihbasheh children kidnapped by father, 1999, escaped/rescued
This isn't a new story but I can't find it here and it's really interesting, with a teenager escaping from a war zone.
The parents, a Welsh mother and Palestinian father broke up in the early 90s, and dad went home to Palestine. No contact for 5 years, then he invited them over for a holiday and wouldn't let them go back with their mother.
The elder son, then called Ahmad - he changed it to John when he escaped, managed to get away three years later, at the age of 15/16:
Then, on New Years Eve 2002, his moment finally arrived.
“Internet cafes had stared appearing around that time, so I was suddenly able to get in touch with mum without my father knowing, and together we began plotting my journey,” he said.
“The Israeli soldiers were pretty ruthless in checking for IDs at the time, so I managed to convince dad to get me a UK passport and, as soon as it arrived, I took off for the British Consulate in Jerusalem.”
Nevertheless, with numerous army checkpoints between him and his destination, John knew the odds were stacked against him.
“There were several moments where I though I wouldn’t make it, like the moment the bus I was on got pulled over and everyone on board was made to get out and kneel in a row while the soldiers checked our papers.
“It probably lasted an hour, but felt like forever.”
But the guilt of having left his siblings behind in a war zone never left him and, along with his step-father, John flew back to Israel a year later with the intention of meeting his brother David and younger sister Alex at their school and bringing them back to Jerusalem with him.
“The wait at the gates was nerve-racking,” said John.
“I dread to think what the consequences would have been if my father or my uncles had caught me, but when I saw Dave I walked up beside him and told him to come with me.
“We jumped in a taxi and I passed the driver a wad of cash and told him to take us to the British Consulate, which in itself was a huge risk.
“It was so hard to leave Alex behind again but, a week later, she also managed to get to Jerusalem and eventually home to us here.”
And, three years later, Fatima – who’d been through an arranged marriage – also joined them.
01-31-2016, 07:05 AM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2014
- Bloomington IN
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