- Published on Thursday, 03 May 2012 10:47
On Thursday, 3rd May, U.S. federal court issues arrest warrant for divorced Palestinian man who is accused of illegally moving his kids from their home in Kansas to Gaza without their mother's permission.
The court says that Bethany Gonzales allowed Ahmed Abuhamda to take their three children to Gaza for his sister's wedding, but instead of bringing them back home he unlawfully kept them in Gaza.
Abuhamda admits to moving kids abroad, but says he did so with their mother's full permission as per the terms of their divorce settlement. However, Gonzales says that she only signed off her children's passport application as she was led to believe that they would return. She has produced an email showing a return flight to have been confirmed.
She says that there is 'no way' she would allow her children to stay in Gaza and contacted the authorities after it became clear that her ex-husband's flight information was fake. By then his apartment had been cleared out and she later received a text message saying that he would not be coming back.
Gonzales says the legal means available to her in Gaza are limited due to differences in custody laws between the U.S. and Gaza. Nevertheless a federal arrest warrant has been issued for Abuhamda in America. It is unlikely that the authorities in Gaza will act on this.
Abuhamda insists he had the right to take the children and was not aware of the criminal charges against him until his family was contacted for comment. He was offered to pay for his ex-wife to come to Gaza to visit the children.
Gonzales talks to them regularly by phone and fears for their safety. However Abuhamda claims his children are happy.