Late last night, a 4-year-old girl named Ofek and her mother, Nancy, were taken off a plane at Ben-Gurion airport just as it was getting ready to take off for the Philippines. The two were not tourists planning a vacation to the Far East, but rather a family set to be deported from Israel. An eleventh hour legal stay allowed them to get off the plane and live — at least a bit longer — in Israel.
Her mother entered Israel on a legal work permit, and Ofek was born in Israel. The little girl’s first language is Hebrew, and she has never set foot in the country of her mother’s birth. However, because she has not yet finished kindergarten in the Israeli school system (the 4-year-old is set to begin pre-kindergarten this fall), she does not have the right to stay in Israel, according to Interior Ministry policies.
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