"Son: Don't return my mother to Lebanon
The state has requested to expel a 50-year-old south Lebanese resident whose husband, an Israeli citizen, has subsequently died; 'If she returns she is expected to face the death penalty,' her lawyer says
Israel is requesting to expel a 50-year-old Lebanese national whose husband, an Israeli citizen, has subsequently died.
The man's 23-year-old son, who lives Haifa, is trying to overturn the ruling, while the woman awaits a final decision from a prison cell in Hadera.
The woman's attorney Orait Zaknun said that if the woman is forced to return to Lebanon she is expected to receive the death penalty as punishment for marrying an Israeli.
The woman first arrived in Israel in 1999 along with several other women to work in a sewing factory, where she met her future husband, a resident of the Israeli-Arab village of Fasuta along the northern border.
The man was 10 years her senior, had just lost his first wife and was in poor health.
"My parents adopted me when I was three-years-old, " the son told Ynet, adding that his father remarried in 1999, two years after his mother died.
"For the first time in my life I had a real mother who understood what it meant to be a mother. She cooked for me, ironed for me and for the first time in my life I was calm because I knew I had someone who would take care of me."
He said that his father had died over a year ago from complications caused by diabetes and that his stepmother continued to look after him. During this time she tried to apply for Israeli citizen.
"They would reject her every time and told her to appeal. Finally, two days ago immigration police took her into custody," he said. "If they take her away from me I don't know what I'll do. Finally, for the first time I understand what a real mother is."
'Hizbullah views her as a spy'
During court deliberations Friday, the woman's attorney said that if she is returned to southern Lebanon she is expected to face the death penalty as punishment for marrying an Israeli citizen.
However, Zaknun was unable to convince the judge who ruled to expel her.
"South Lebanese Army soldiers who return to southern Lebanon have been tried and sentenced. For someone like her, who was married to an Israel, she will not even receive a trial," she said.
"Hizbullah are just waiting for someone like her as they view her as a spy. If she crosses the border her life will be in danger," she added. "There are many Lebanese women married to Israelis who have received citizen ship without a problem, why such imperviousness?"
One Interior Ministry source told Ynet that if the woman was arrested by immigration police, she is considered illegally living in Israel..
"If the woman is in real danger, she knows who to turn to, there is the representative for refugee matters," he said. "Whoever needs it
knows how to contact them and they can professionally determine whether to provide her with refugee status."
The Interior Ministry issued a response saying that the woman has been defined as illegally residing in Israel for nearly four years. Following Ynet's request, Population Registry Director Sassi Katzir has requested to take another look at the woman's case on Sunday."