HaMoked to the Appeals Tribunal: contrary to the procedures and the Supreme Court’s case law, the Ministry of Interior revokes the Israeli status of East Jerusalem minors whose parents relocated abroad
As part of HaMoked’s ongoing fight against the Ministry of Interior’s quiet deportation policy, aimed at driving East Jerusalem Palestinians out of the city by revoking their Israeli status, HaMoked annually sends freedom of information applications to the ministry for information on this issue.
According to the data provided in 2015, in the years 2011-2014 the Ministry of Interior revoked the Israeli status of 85 East Jerusalem minors following their parents’ relocation abroad. Given this alarming figure, in October 2015 HaMoked wrote to the Ministry of Interior to ask for clarifications, as such revocations clearly conflicted with the ministry’s own procedures as well as the Supreme Court’s case law. Under the Ministry of Interior procedures, the Israeli status of an East Jerusalem resident who has relocated abroad may indeed “expire” of itself after seven years’ absence. However, the procedures also stipulate – and this has been endorsed by the Supreme Court (AAA 9807/09) – that the status of minors who have left the country with their parents or received foreign status while still minors, should not to be revoked. In such cases, the seven year period is to be counted from the time they reach adulthood.
The Ministry of Interior’s response, arriving some nine months later, bolstered HaMoked’s concerns. The Ministry of Interior admitted that it had been revoking the status of minors automatically upon revoking the status of their parents who had moved to live abroad.
On July 18, 2016, HaMoked wrote back to the Ministry of Interior to stress that the ministry’s response indicated that it was implementing “an inherently wrongful policy. This is even more severe given the fact that the individuals whose basic rights are directly and gravely harmed by the wrongful policy you implement are minors”. So long as the resident is a minor, s/he has no control over their fate, and the decision should not be made for them by revoking their status. HaMoked urged the Ministry of Interior to call an immediate halt to this practice of revoking East Jerusalem minors’ status.
Seven months later there was still no response, so on February 12, 2017 HaMoked turned to the Appeals Tribunal, in a bid to compel the Ministry of Interior to provide a response and amend the prevailing illegal policy.
The hearing on HaMoked’s administrative appeal is scheduled for June 19, 2017.