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8.5.2019

Under a revised Ministry of Interior procedure: a minor whose parent holds temporary residency status in Israel, is now eligible to receive the same status

On May 7, 2019, the Ministry of Interior published a revision of the Procedure for Processing Applications for Minors under Regulation 12 of the Entry into Israel Regulations, 5734-1974, which regulates the registration in the Israeli population registry of minors born in Israel who have only one parent who is registered as a resident of Israel. Following the revision, children whose parent holds just temporary residency status, rather than a permanent one, may be registered in the population registry and given status identical to that of their Israeli resident parent.

The procedure was amended pursuant to the Appeals Tribunal’s judgment of January 7, 2019, issued in the framework of an appeal by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The appeal sought to compel the Ministry of Interior to register the infant son of a Palestinian woman from the Israeli city of Taybeh who is married to a resident of the oPt and has been in possession of temporary Israeli status for more than a decade by virtue of being daughter of a permanent resident of East Jerusalem. The Ministry of Interior refused to register her son, born August 2017, claiming that the woman was a temporary resident, whereas the procedure applied only to the children of permanent residents. The Tribunal overturned this decision and ordered the Ministry to publish a new or revised procedure that would regulate the registration of children born to people who hold temporary residency.

The Tribunal ruled that Regulation 12 of the Entry into Israel Regulations, “does not circumscribe its application to a certain type of permit. Its purpose is to prevent separation and disparity between the status of the custodial parent and the status of his child born in the country. Underlying this purpose are constitutional rights and fundamental principles and values of Israeli jurisprudence: the principle of the child’s best interest, the right to family life, the value the intact family unit, and the desire to prevent its breakup” (emphasis added). The Tribunal also criticized the Ministry of Interior for completely disregarding the infant’s best interest and his and his mother’s right to family life, and for leaving the child “without status, without registration and without social security rights and national health insurance”.

In this context, it should be noted that due to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) – which has been repeatedly extended by the Knesset for the past 15 years – many are left, like the child’s mother, without permanent status despite living in East Jerusalem or Israel for years and being the child or spouse of permanent residents of Jerusalem – recognized as an indigenous population of the city by the High Court of Justice.
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