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29.4.2019

Ministry of Interior response to HaMoked's freedom-of-information request: In 2018, Israel revoked the permanent residency status of 13 East Jerusalem Palestinians – the lowest number since HaMoked began its campaign against Israel’s “quiet deportation” policy

In January 2019, as in every year, HaMoked submitted to the Ministry of Interior an application under the Freedom of Information Law for information on revocations of permanent residency status of East Jerusalem Palestinians for the year 2018. The application was sent as part of HaMoked's on-going campaign to stop Israel's “quiet deportation” of East Jerusalem Palestinians, implemented since late 1995.

According to the data supplied by the Ministry of Interior, in 2018, Israel revoked the residency of 13 East Jerusalem Palestinians, including 4 women. Contrary to previous years, the Ministry refused to disclose how many of those stripped of their residency status were minors, on the implausible pretext of “the right to privacy”.

This is the lowest number of residency revocations since HaMoked began its advocacy on this issue. Additionally, the Ministry of Interior disclosed that in 2018, Israel “reinstated” the status of 55 East Jerusalem Palestinians.

According to the Ministry of Interior's figures supplied over the years, between 1967 and 2018, Israel revoked the status of 14,643 Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

The Ministry of Interior also stated that there were no changes in its policy of not revoking the status of permanent residents who live in the Jerusalem “seam” neighborhoods or moved to live in the West Bank, as well as those who live abroad – provided they visit Israel at least once every seven years.

Additionally, in March 2018, under a new amendment to the Entry into Israel Law, the Minister of Interior announced his intention to revoke the status of a number of East Jerusalem residents due to "breach of allegiance to the State of Israel". Following HaMoked’s petitions on behalf of two of these people whose status the ministry proceeded to revoke, the Jerusalem District Court ruled in November 2018 that the cases would be heard by the High Court of Justice (HCJ) due to the gravity of the matter.

HaMoked reiterates that the situation of East Jerusalem residents is unlike that of any other permanent resident, as the area in question was annexed by Israel and its inhabitants were compelled to become permanent residents of Israel. They are an indigenous population and their status cannot be subject to revocation or expiration. The High Court of Justice has also recognized the unique status of East Jerusalem residents – for whom this piece of land is home. The law must recognize that the residency rights of East Jerusalem Palestinians cannot expire even following a lengthy stay abroad or the acquisition of status in another country, nor be revoked on allegations of breach of allegiance.
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