ID card
Photo: Dafna Mekel

Woman sues State for ID-issuance red tape

Arab woman from Haifa sues Interior Ministry for NIS 372,000 after State claims she forged her identity, denying her ID: 'She refused to follow protocol,' ministry insists

Asma Wahidi, 27, from Haifa, is suing the State for more than NIS 372,000 (roughly $103,000) after she lost her ID card and was forced to wait two years until she was issued a new ID card, all the while demanded to submit various documents and supply proof to her identity.


According to Wahidi, during that time she could not find employment nor marry.


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In the claim, filed with the Haifa District Court, Wahidi's lawyer, Shahar Levinson, recanted how her original ID card was issued at the Interior Ministry bureau in Lod, where she was residing at the time. In 2006, the same office issued her a new card after her first one was stolen.


In 2009, she approached the Netanya offices, after she had lost her card. The clerk searched for her in the ministry's database and discovered she had a twin sister. He then conditioned the card's reissuing on her bringing her sister to the office. However, because she and her sister had fallen out at the time, she refused.


Even when Wahidi managed to convince her sister to come with her to the ministry's Ramallah offices, the ministry claimed that Wahidi had "forged" her identity, and even forced the sister to issue a new passport.


Later, she was forced to return to the office, this time with her parents, but to no avail.


Only in 2012 did she finally succeed in receiving a new ID card, conditioned on her willingness to voluntarily undergo a police interrogation, under the claim that she had recived her previous ID card under the false pretence of her sister's picture.


"For over two years the plaintiff's hands were tied," the prosecution's case claimed; "she could not function like any other citizen. All potential employers demanded an ID and she could not present one. The plantiff could not earn a living or form a functioning family and wed, as marriage also requires a valid ID card. "


The compensation demanded, NIS 372,482, was calculated on the basis of the potential earnings Wahidi could have banked if she had been employed during that period.


In response, the Interior Ministry claimed that her request for a new card was lodged only in January 2010, and not in 2009 as she asserts.


"In light of the fact that she has an identical twin, and in light of past experiences we cannot elaborate on, she was requested to present unequivocal proof of identity.


Wahidi refused to do so for a long time and in accordance no ID was issued, as is demanded in all such cases in an attempt to prevent identity forgeries and thefts.


"Only in 2012 she consented to provide proof of her identity and afterwards was issued a new ID."



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פרסום ראשון: 04.30.13, 22:07
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