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The military's response to an inquiry by HaMoked and Gisha: between 2011 and 2014, 58 applications by West Bank residents for relocation to the Gaza Strip were approved subject to a signed pledge never to return to the West Bank

In recent years, Israel has been pursuing a policy of separation between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, aimed at driving the populations apart. As part of this policy, Israel blocks almost completely the possibility of relocation from Gaza to the West Bank. By contrast, West Bank residents who wish to relocate to Gaza to live there by their relatives, can do so relatively easily, so long as they agree to sign a pledge of full "settlement" in Gaza, declaring that they know they would not be allowed to return to the West Bank, not even for limited visits, other than in the most exceptional cases. This, according to a procedure the military published in December 2010.

In October 7, 2014, HaMoked and Gisha applied to the military under the Freedom of Information Law for data concerning the actual implementation of the procedure on "settlement" of West Bank residents in the Gaza Strip. Among other things, the organizations inquired how many applications for "settlement" in Gaza had been filed between January 2011 and August 2014; and how many of them had been rejected and on what grounds. The organizations also asked about the number of people who had been allowed to return to the West Bank following their "settlement" in Gaza.

On February 22, 2015, the organizations received a partial response from the military, which contained mostly technical information concerning the regulations for filing and processing "settlement" applications. A month later, on March 26, 2015, the military delivered its supplementary response, stating that in the period in question, 58 applications for settlement in Gaza had been approved, 51 of them filed by women, and seven by men. The military also stated that of these West Bank residents who had been permitted to settle in Gaza, six had been allowed to return to the West Bank once following their "settlement" in Gaza, and seven others had been allowed to return to the West Bank more than once. The military did not provide the overall number of applications that were filed under the procedure or details about the number of rejected applications. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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