Relatives of firebomb victims: Israel denying us access

Civil Administration insists it has been generous with permit extensions following the attack on W. Bank family.

Firebombing victim Jamila Jayada 390 (photo credit: Ilene Prusher)
Firebombing victim Jamila Jayada 390
(photo credit: Ilene Prusher)
With family members still hospitalized in Jerusalem following a devastating firebombing attack on a Palestinian taxi in the West Bank late last week, the young men of the Jayada family have been at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem around the clock.
Their army-issued permits to come into Jerusalem, however, run out on Wednesday, and they have been told by the IDF liaison office in the territories, known as the Civil Administration, that their requests to have their permits extended have been denied.
To Mustapha Jayada, who spends his days by the bedside of his brother Hassan, 27, and his nephew Muhammad, 5, both of them suffering from severe burns over most of their bodies, this does not make sense.
“Our permits to be here run out tomorrow, but we’re still needed,” he said, as he tried to make Hassan more comfortable following surgery he’d had a few hours earlier. “Look, my brother’s hands are so burned and wrapped up in bandages that he can’t even feed himself. He’s suffering so much it’s hard for him to speak. How can I leave him in this state?” However, a spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories told The Jerusalem Post that family members would be granted permits for two weeks – longer than usually granted for visits regarding medical treatment – and that he did not know of any family members being denied.
“Due to the sensitivity of the incident, it was decided exceptionally to give family members permits for two weeks. The Civil Administration is not familiar with any complaints regarding permits that weren’t issued. If there are in fact cases of this sort, family members should contact the Civil Administration and the closest District Coordination Office in order to issue the permit.”
Haitham Jayada, another brother assisting injured family members and helping translate for them, said there is no reason why they should not be given permits that would be good for a month – given that their family members are looking at weeks of hospitalization ahead of them. Their older brother, Ayman, is in serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit of the hospital. His wife, Jamila, has third-degree burns on her face and hands. She has occasionally been able to get up and, with help, visit their son Muhammad, who is in a separate children’s ward with serious burns all over his body.
“We need to be able to go home overnight and rest, shower, see our own children,” says Haitham Jayada, who has been at the hospital for several days, neglecting his wife and two children at home in the village of Nahalin. But he is afraid that if he goes home, he will not be allowed to reenter Israel.
“This isn’t just a visit to a sick person, this is actually waiting on our brothers to help them.”
“Why do they give us just a day or two to be here?” he asked. “Almost everyone who requested to come got a permit for just one day, and we were told we couldn’t have more.”
The driver of the car, Bassam Jayada, a member of the same extended family, is also suffering from burns; his face is virtually blackened by the fire that engulfed the car he was driving to a nearby supermarket to shop for the Id al-Fitr holiday. He has his wife at his side, but her permit will also run out by the end of the week, he said.
“I had a Jewish visitor stand at my bedside yesterday and say, ‘You Palestinians need to do another intifada,’” he said.
“But what good will it do us? What good will more violence bring?” “At the same time, look at us,” he moaned. “The people who did this are not human.
And they still haven’t caught [them].”
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the perpetrators would be found. “No arrests have been made, but we’ll find the suspects, in the same way that we have already picked up five or six suspects in the Jerusalem incident,” he said, referring to a violent attack on Palestinian teenagers in Jerusalem early Friday. The victim, Jamal Julani, remains in serious condition in the same hospital.
Rosenfeld added: “We strongly believe at this point that the Palestinian vehicle was targeted because it was clear that it was a Palestinian vehicle.”
The Jerusalem Post apologizes that the original headline on our website was inaccurate.