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Sunday, July 24, 2005 

Israel prosecutes Syrian hairdressers who want to visit Syria

Two Syrians living in the Israel-occupied Syrian Golan Heights have been prosecuted by an Israeli court.

35-year-old Abbas Salah Abu Awad of Bukata and 53-year-old Massoud Mamdouh Wated of the village of Beka el-Gerbiyya were organising a barbers conference in Syria.

They planned to seek the help of members of Israel's secret police who were sympathetic to their desire to return to their homeland - according to a court in Haifa.

The court said that people living in Israel and the territories it occupies are not allowed to visit Syria - even if they are Syrian!

"During the months of April and May, the accused organized a delegation of Israeli haircutters to a professional conference due to be held during May in Syria – an enemy country, into which entry is prohibited without special permission from the interior minister or prime minister,” the court said.

It's not clear what punishment they'll be given but Justice Ministry spokesman Yaakov Galanti said that: "Any visit to an enemy country without a written permit, as legally required, is a criminal offense, and the state intends to apply this law to the fullest."

I'd be interested in seeing any Syrian citizen who just wanted to go to Israel, try to organize a trip to say, Tel Aviv - for say, a blogging conference. Wonder how far Assad would let his Syrian "citizens" venture?

Point is, it goes BOTH ways.

No thats not the point at all.

The point is that Israel is preventing SYRIANS from entering SYRIA from occupied SYRIAN territory!

But, can you answer the question....would Assad let out a Syrian Citizen to go to Tel Aviv to attend a blogging conference?

In Israel, you need special permission from either the interior ministry or the prime minister in order to visit an "enemy country," so you're being hypocritical, Anon # 1. I don't know if Syrians can go to Israel--Syrian Jews definately can:

Can Sasa shed more light on the subject?

Just to add.. you're firt question was stupid. Anon # 2 pointed that out in due time.

Very interesting discussion.

Yes, Syrian Jews have been allowed to go to Israel (and return) since Clinton put pressure on Hafez Al-Assad in the 90s.

Also Syrians with relatives in the Golan Heights can enter Israel, when israel allows them to.

Bashar Al-Assad has called for full normalisation of relations between Syria and Israel, meaning that there'd be an Israeli embassy in Damascus, and the border would be open to any Syrian who wanted to cross. But Ariel Sharon still refuses to acknowledge that he occupies 'enemy' territory.

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  • Written by sasa
  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
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