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10.4.2018

Ministry of Interior response to HaMoked's Freedom-of-Information request: In 2017, Israel revoked the permanent residency status of 35 East Jerusalem Palestinians

In January 2018, as in every year, HaMoked submitted to the Ministry of Interior an application under the Freedom of Information Law for information on revocations of permanent residency status of East Jerusalem Palestinians for the year 2017. The application was sent as part of HaMoked's on-going campaign to stop Israel's quiet deportation policy implemented against East Jerusalem Palestinians.

According to the data supplied by the Ministry of Interior on April 4, 2018, in 2017, Israel revoked the residency of 35 East Jerusalem Palestinians, including 17 women and 4 minors. Additionally, it was disclosed that in 2017, Israel “reinstated” the status of 51 East Jerusalem Palestinians.

According to the Ministry of Interior's figures supplied over the years, between 1967 and 2017, Israel revoked the status of 14,630 Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

The Ministry of Interior also stated that there were no changes in its policy of not revoking the status of permanent residents who live in the Jerusalem “seam” neighborhoods or moved to live in the West Bank, as well as those who live abroad – provided they visit Israel at least once every seven years.

It should be noted that recently, the Knesset approved a law that authorizes the Minister of Interior to revoke the status of permanent Israeli residents due to a "breach of allegiance to the State of Israel". Accordingly, the Minister of Interior already announced, on March 19, 2018, his renewed intention to revoke the status of a number of East Jerusalem residents (four of whom are represented by HaMoked).

HaMoked reiterates that the position of East Jerusalem residents is unlike that of any other permanent resident – the area in question was annexed by Israel and its inhabitants were compelled to become permanent residents of Israel. They are an indigenous population and their status cannot be subject to expiration. In the case of East Jerusalem residents – for whom this piece of land is home – the law must recognize that their residency status in Israel cannot expire nor be revoked, even following a lengthy stay abroad or the acquisition of status in another country.
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