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Refusal to grant a certificate of “new resident in the Seam Zone”: the case of the K couple
documents: 0  |  Updates: 1 In October 2009, RK, a truck driver from the area of Jenin, married SK, who lived with her parents in Barta’a – located inside the “seam zone” – i.e., the West Bank areas trapped between the Israeli separation wall and the Green Line. The couple wanted to make their home in Barta’a, because SK needed to spend most of her time at her parents’ house, taking care of her mother whose health was deteriorating. And so – as Israel has made entry of Palestinians to the “seam zone” subject to receipt of a military permit – in January 2010, RK applied to be registered as a “permanent resident in the Seam Zone”, a status that affords long-term permits for passage between the “seam zone” and the rest of the West Bank. However, the military rejected RK’s application on the absurd claim that he was “not a permanent resident”. His second application received the same response, and the third, filed in July, was never answered.

Therefore, in August 2010, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice to instruct the military to issue a permit that would allow RK to realize his right to family life with his wife. Some two months later, the military issued RK a six-month “Seam Zone entry permit for personal needs”, as the first stage in the process of becoming a “permanent resident in the Seam Zone”. This permit allowed him to maintain family life with his wife west of the separation wall for the first time. But RK continued sleeping outside the “seam zone” because he had to be at work on the east side of the wall early each morning, when the “seam zone” gates were still closed. Therefore, the couple continued splitting their lives between the two houses.

RK received another six-month permit in April 2011, but when it expired in November, the military refused to register him as a “permanent resident of the Seam Zone” on the claim that he had not moved his center of life to the “seam zone”. As part of a hearing conducted after the refusal, RK explained to the military that he could not sleep in the “seam zone” because the military was preventing him from leaving for work on time. But to no avail.

Later on, after the State Attorney’s Office pledged that single-visit applications for the “seam zone” would be examined “with a willing spirit”, HaMoked’s petition was deleted.

SK still spends much of her time taking care of her mother inside the “seam zone”. RK still works west of the separation wall, and occasionally receives short-term permits to visit his family at their house, lying just a few hundred meters across from the house where he sleeps, on the other side of the separation wall.

The military violates fundamental rights of Palestinians who wish to live inside the "seam zone": only after extended delays and a petition to the HCJ, a married couple is allowed "by the grace" of the military to live together in their West Bank home (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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