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7.11.2017

At the end of a decade-long legal battle: a stateless Palestinian woman born in East Jerusalem and living there her entire life will receive permanent status in Israel

For many years HaMoked conducted a persistent legal battle against the Ministry of Interior’s refusal to grant status to a Palestinian youth, found as a new-born baby, without any identifying detail, at the footsteps of an East Jerusalem orphanage, where she remained under the care of the orphanage’s director, who raised her as her daughter. All the director’s efforts to register the child in the Israeli population registry failed, inter alia, because of the Ministry of Interior’s unreasonable demand to receive a birth notice for the child, and thus she remained stateless. The guardian and the girl turned to HaMoked for help, and it began acting on the girl’s behalf.

After six years of delays and superfluous demands, the Ministry of Interior informed HaMoked on October 28, 2014, that it decided to grant the youth temporary status for a year, at the end of which it would consider her future status in Israel, in recognition of her unique circumstances as a stateless person living her entire life in East Jerusalem.

But a year later, the state clung to its arbitrary and heartless refusal to grant the youth permanent status, deciding her temporary status would be extended for another two years. Therefore, on April 7, 2016, HaMoked appealed for the third time to the Appeals Tribunal against the Ministry of Interior’s position, asserting, inter alia, that the ministry’s decision not to upgrade the young woman’s status was unreasonable and constituted a retreat from the agreement it expressed a year earlier.

On November 6, 2017, the Appeals Tribunal accepted HaMoked’s position and ruled that the young woman was to receive an upgrade to permanent status. The Tribunal strongly criticized the Ministry of Interior’s conduct and ordered it to pay costs in the sum of ILS 15,000.
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