hussein - Eliyahu Hershkovitz - February 26 2011
Adel Hussein at the wedding ceremony of his son. Photo by Eliyahu Hershkovitz
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A Palestinian man who is married to a Jewish woman and whose son served in the Israel Defense Forces was recently informed that he is ineligible for a permanent visa to live in Israel.

"I can't buy a home here like a human being, I can't open a business for fear that they'll soon kick me out," said Adel Hussein, who has lived most of his life in the West Bank city of Tul Karm, but now wants to live near his son in Israel.

"There is no explanation as to why they're not letting me be a permanent citizen. My son served in a combat unit - is that not total loyalty to the state?"

The Interior Ministry's Population, Immigration and Border Authority said it did not have the power to grant Hussein's request for permanent residency.

"Mr. Adel Hussein is a resident of the Palestinian Authority," the authority said in a statement. "In 2005, in light of the fact that he is the father of an Israeli citizen and that he argued that his life was in danger [in the West Bank], it was decided as part of a legal proceeding and a ruling by the head of the Population Administration at the time to approve Mr. Hussein's 5a temporary residence visa.

"Mr. Hussein is asking to change his status to that of permanent resident, but in light of a 2003 temporary order, it's impossible to approve that request, nor is it in our discretion to do so."

Hussein, whose wife and son moved from Tul Karm to Dimona in 1996 because he feared for their lives in the West Bank, said he soon plans to submit a request to renew his temporary visa.

A temporary visa granted to him in 2004, after he petitioned the High Court of Justice, has since expired.

"The visa was extended every year [for five years], and the intention was that after five years he would become a permanent resident by virtue of being the father of a soldier serving in the IDF," said Hussein's lawyer, Didi Rothschild. "So far, our requests to the Interior Ministry to have his status changed to permanent resident or Israeli citizen have been rejected."

Hussein's son, who changed his name from Mohammed Hussein to Yossi Peretz, says his father deserves to be able to live near him.

"I'm his only son," said Peretz. "He doesn't have anyone aside from me and he belongs near me."