Israel's establishment in 1948 was built on stolen Palestinian land, which it has since claimed to be its own. The decades-long illegal occupation has left millions without a home, without a family, and without the freedom to roam around land that belongs to its people. The illegitimate state even has the audacity to deny Palestinians entry into their homeland.
That latter is exactly what happened with Palestinian-Canadian writer Chaker Khazaal this week. Occupation forces blocked the "Tale of Tala" author from entering Palestinian territory. Khazaal had just completed a humanitarian mission in Jordan with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and was on his way to Palestine for yet another mission. Little did he know he would be interrogated, detained, and denied entry into his homeland.
"Just got deported from my own home country," Khazaal wrote in an Instagram story the day it happened.
Khazaal, born in 1987 in Lebanon as a Palestinian refugee, was denied entry on the basis of Israel's controversial Law No. 5712-1952. Amendment No. 27 to the "Entry Into Israel Law" prohibits the entry of any foreigner who makes "a public call for boycotting Israel" or "any area under its control" into Israeli territory. The law even applies to comments made with regards to the West Bank settlements.
The law is questionable on many fronts considering Israel's existence, illegal settlements, and human crimes are illegitimate to begin with.
Khazaal was denied entry on this basis though it remains unclear what part of the law he violated (that's if he breached anything at all). To him, he was the one being violated.
"This is a violation and I'm going to appeal it," Khazaal told StepFeed in a statement.
"This is not only unfair, unjust and wrongful; it is a hit to my core"
Khazaal grew up in Bourj El Barajneh camp in Beirut, Lebanon. As a child, he took part in several local plays including the Palestinian film Sugar of Jaffa. He then later moved to Canada and pursued his undergraduate studies there.
No matter where he is in the world, Palestine is dear to Khazaal's heart. He has spoken about his love for the country on TV shows numerous times in the past.
"There is some kind of romance between me and the city of Tarshiha that grew in size because of my grandfather and all the Palestinians who sought refuge," he said in a 2018 interview with DMC TV which he reposted on his Instagram story this week.