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 citizen moved to Israel in 2012 to stay near his two young sons after his estranged wife returned there, and a case against him has been filed in an Israeli court under a divorce law that human rights activists describe as “extremely cruel and exaggerated.”
In a statement, Hubert said that he had “remained imprisoned in Israel since 2013,” adding that he was “one of the Australian citizens who have been persecuted by the Israeli justice system only because they are married to Israeli women.”
According to the site, the court issued a so-called “stay-of-exit” order against him that prevents him from leaving the country, even for vacation or work purposes, until he pays “future debts” in order to support his two children until they reach the age of 18.
A British independent journalist who worked on the issue in order to raise awareness of the controversial law stated that there may be hundreds of other Australian citizens at risk of facing the same problem.
In an article for the Times of Israel in 2013, a blogger named Adam Hersko who is interested in following up on gender issues described the travel ban on foreigners and Israel’s family laws as “extremely draconian”.
“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.