An Australian citizen has been barred from leaving Israel, trapping him in the country for almost 8000 years after his Israeli wife filed a divorce case against him.
Noam Huppert, 44, has been ordered by a court to either pay more than $3m in future child support payments or he is barred from leaving the country until 31 December 9999, reported news.com.au.
The Australian moved to Israel in 2012 to stay closer to her two young children after her estranged wife returned to the country and filed a case in an Israeli court under the divorce law that has been dubbed “draconian and excessive” by human rights activists.
“Since 2013, I am locked in Israel,” he said, adding that he is one of the Australian citizens who have been “persecuted by the Israeli ‘justice’ system only because they were married to Israeli women”.
According to the website, the court has issued a so-called “stay-of-exit” order against him, barring him from leaving the country even for holiday or work, until he pays “future debt” for the maintenance of his two children, until they turn 18.
He now wants to share his story with the world in order “to help other Australians who may suffer this literally life-threatening experience”.
An independent British journalist who has been working on the issue to raise awareness said there could be hundreds of Australian citizens who would be also facing the same problem.
“I could not get numbers from any foreign embassy,” Marianne Azizi said. The author has written a book Sour Milk & Stolen Honey about a woman’s fight to save her husband held hostage by Israel’s family laws and also appears in a documentary directed by Director Sorin Luca called the No Exit Order.
She began collecting testimonies after her own husband was trapped in Israel after he went there to visit his children.
Blogger Adam Herscu, who writes on gender issues, called the travel ban of foreigners and family laws “draconian” in his article in Times of Israel in 2013.
“If you’re planning on moving to Israel and starting a family there, you need to understand that the family laws are draconian and excessively discriminatory against men – that there are good chances that you will be treated as a criminal and relegated to the role of visitor (slash) ATM,” he wrote.
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