Author Questioned for Allegedly Smuggling Palestinians Into Israel for Day of Fun

'We don't recognize the legality of the entry law into Israel,' author Ilana Hammerman tells Haaretz, adding she is not deterred by possible 2-year prison term.

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

Author Ilana Hammerman was questioned by police Tuesday over suspicions that she broke the law by smuggling three Palestinian women into Israel for a day of fun, as was published in Haaretz in May.

Ilana Hammerman invited three young Palestinian women for a day of fun in Tel Aviv, overcoming the roadblocks on the way and in the mind.Credit: Daniel Tchetchik

Following publication of the article, the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel demanded that the attorney general investigate Hammerman for smuggling illegal residents into Israel.

After the complaint was filed, peace activists with whom Hammerman is acquainted approached her with the idea of doing another trip, but more extensive this time.

A group of Israeli women smuggled 12 Palestinian woman and four children, among them a year-old baby, into Tel Aviv for a day of fun about two weeks ago. The women, among them writers Ilana Hammerman and, picked up the women from their villages, following two earlier meetings with them.

Hammerman and her friends, including Klil Zisapel began to seek women in West Bank villages who would be willing to take a chance on getting caught to take part in such a trip, the 28 Israeli and Palestinian women and children made their way into Israel.

Avoiding the security forces at West Bank checkpoints, they took the women out to eat in a restaurant in Jaffa, swimming in the Mediterranean, and took them home via Jerusalem where they could see the Old City walls from afar.

"We all came, we met the women, we took them in our own cars. We pulled a fast one on the army," Hammerman said.

Most of the Palestinians had never seen the sea or visited certain holy places. None of them had permits to enter Israel.

"We passed the checkpoints in our cars, knowingly breaking the laws of entry into Israel," the Israeli women wrote in an ad published in the Hebrew weekend edition of Haaretz.

"We don't recognize the legality of the entry law into Israel, which allows every Israeli and every Jew to move freely throughout most of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, and denies this right to the Palestinians, to whom this land also belongs."

Hammerman said the Israeli women wanted to spark debate in Israeli society. "None of us are anarchists, yet we broke the law. That is a symbolic act," she said.

Hammerman said the possible two-year prison term for smuggling people into Israel did not deter her.



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