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17.4.2007

Israeli officials deleted the names of long-serving Palestinian prisoners from the Population Registry and are evading requests to restore the names: The Legal Advisor for the West Bank argues that the restoring of registration should be implemented by the Palestinian side, despite the fact that in the past the advisor has admitted that the responsibility for the “error” and its correction rest with Israel

Over the years, HaMoked has received complaints from the families of long-serving Palestinian prisoners who are unable to secure permits to visit their relative in prison. In most cases the problem arose because the names of these prisoners no longer appeared on the Population Registry in the West Bank, which is managed simultaneously by the Israeli and Palestinian sides. Investigation by HaMoked showed that the details of the prisoners were deleted from the registry due to “lack of activity.” 

In the past the Legal Advisor for the West Bank acknowledged his responsibility for the error and restored the names of prisoners to the registry. On 26 February 2007, however, following additional cases that reached HaMoked’s attention and following its request dated 24 December 2006 to restore the names, the military refused to continue its past practice. The authorities claimed that in accordance with the civil annex to the Interim Accord between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the registration authorities had been transferred to the Palestinian side. The legal advisor noted, however, that if the Palestinian side decided that the registration should be restored, it must forward an application to the Israeli side, which would decide how to act. Accordingly, HaMoked argued that the military’s claim that the registration authorities were transferred to the Palestinian side is unclear: it was the Israeli side that deleted the prisoners’ names from the registry; the Israeli side will restore their names to the registry maintained by Israel; and the Israeli side will permit the Palestinian Authority to restore the names to its own registry. 

In a letter dated 12 March 2007, HaMoked demands that the military locate all those whose registration was deleted and restore the names to the Population Registry. The deletion of registration, prima facie, negates the status of the prisoners and suggests that the Population Registry is being managed in a inadequate and improper manner. HaMoked further clarifies that Article 47 of the Geneva Convention requires that protected persons in an occupied territory shall not be deprived of their rights, including “by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power.”

mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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