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HaMoked to District Court: Instruct Ministry of Interior to reinstate the unlawfully revoked residency status of a Palestinian native of East Jerusalem

In 2010, when an East Jerusalem resident went to the Ministry of Interior to have his identity card renewed, the officer who received him told him his Israeli status had been revoked in 2006.

In January 2012, HaMoked asked the Ministry of Interior why it had revoked that status of the man, who was born in Jerusalem, had lived there his entire life and had no status other than Israeli permanent residency, anywhere in the world. In response, the ministry said the man’s residency “expired” in 1996 rather than 2006, as he had been erroneously informed, after a National Insurance Institute (NII) investigation report from December 12, 1990, indicated that three years earlier, he moved to a-Ram, a neighborhood which borders on Jerusalem but had not been annexed.

HaMoked asked for a copy of the notice of residency expiry that was allegedly sent out in 1996, but was told that the man’s residency expired along with his mother’s, and so “no individual notice was sent, as he was a minor”. At the time of the alleged “expiry”, the man, born in 1972, was 24 years old! It also turned out that the NII investigation, on which the ministry relied, related to the man’s late father rather than to him personally.

On June 19, 2012, HaMoked appealed the ministry’s decision to revoke the man’s residency, arguing, that as the man became an adult in 1990, his residency should have been examined independently from his parents’ and that according to the Sharansky affidavit, he should have received a separate notice regarding the expiration of his residency. In the absence of such notice, the expiry is invalid. HaMoked also stressed that even if the man had lived with his parents in a-Ram during the relevant time, a claim he vehemently rejects, his ties to Jerusalem had not been severed and hence the conditions required for status revocation had not been met. On December 18, 2012, the Ministry of Interior dismissed the appeal. An application HaMoked filed to the Appellate Committee for Foreign Nationals was also rejected, on June 8, 2014.

Given this outcome, HaMoked petitioned the District Court on July 16, 2014 to instruct the Ministry of Interior to reinstate the man’s unlawfully revoked residency status. HaMoked argued that the process leading up to the decision to revoke the residency had been highly deficient and breached the ministry’s own protocols. HaMoked also noted that as a result of this erroneous decision, the man’s children, whose mother is a resident of the OPT, have also been left without status or rights. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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