Australian national can’t leave Israel for 8,000 more years until he pays outstanding child support payments

An Australian national living in Israel has said he is subject to an 8,000-year travel ban unless he pays an outstanding £1.8 million in child support payments.

Noam Huppert, a 44-year-old analytical chemist working for a pharmaceutical company, is not allowed to leave Israel until 31 December 9999 owing to a 2013 “stay of exit” order handed down after a family court case was brought by his ex-wife, according to reports.

The court ruled Huppert must pay 5,000 shekels (£1,200) a month for each of his two children until they turn 18. It was not immediately clear whether Huppert has made any payments to date, or whether he must pay the entire sum in advance in order to lift the stay-of-exit order.

It appears the year 9999 was arbitrarily set because it was the highest possible date allowed by the online system.

Huppert’s former spouse, an Israeli national, moved back to the country in 2011, when their children were aged three months and five years old. He followed in 2012, and says he has not been able to leave for any reason in the eight years since the court ruling.

“Since 2013, I am locked in Israel,” Huppert told reporters, adding that he was one of many foreign nationals “persecuted by the Israeli ‘justice’ system only because they were married to Israeli women” and that he was speaking out “to help others who may suffer this literally life-threatening experience”.

In its travel advice for Israel, the US state department includes a warning to citizens that Israel’s civil and religious courts “actively exercise their authority to bar certain individuals, including non-residents, from leaving the country until debts or other legal claims against them are resolved”.