An unfortunate typo in a young Palestinian’s identity card has nearly caused him to blow his fuse. When 25 year old Iyhab Sawalha was born, a hospital secretary mistakenly typed an “r” instead of “y” on the baby’s birth certificate, changing his official name to “Irhab,” which, in Arabic, means terrorist.
Iyhab, a resident of the West Bank city of Nablus, has been stopped and questioned countless times by IDF soldiers at checkpoints, the young man’s father told Palestinian News Agency Ma’an.
“One day they stopped a bus-load of passengers for hours because Iyhab was one of them,” said Jamal Sawalha. Sawalha, a construction worker, claimed he had even been denied access to Israel as a result of his son’s name.
“I admit I should have corrected that error earlier,” Sawalha told the news agency.
Sawalha said he recently attempted to change his son’s name, but was still awaiting the approval of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, which operates under Israeli supervision.
The ministry, however, claimed no such case had ever been reported to it.