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3.5.2018

Following HaMoked's 7 year battle: a 16 year-old boy raised by a foster family in East Jerusalem will receive permanent residency status in Israel

In 2001, a baby was born in the Neve Tirza prison to a prisoner from the West Bank. The baby lived in prison with his mother for almost two years, until her release. Soon after, the mother abandoned the boy with her partner, and disappeared. It was later determined in a paternity test that the partner is not the baby's father, and subsequently the Israeli social services removed the boy from the man's custody and transferred him to the care of a foster family in East Jerusalem – his only family from that point forward.

In 2011 the boy's foster family turned to HaMoked, requesting help with registering the boy – who was growing up with no status in the world – in the population registry. HaMoked's efforts vis-à-vis the authorities uncovered wrongful recording of the boy's birth, a mistake that delayed the boy's registration in the population registry for the next two years. After extensive and protracted efforts with the various authorities, HaMoked succeeded in proving that the foster family is the boy's only family, and secured a corrected birth certificate for him, replacing the faulty one that was issued at his birth.

Following the conclusion of this bureaucratic entanglement, in 2013 HaMoked filed a request to register the boy as a permanent resident of Israel with the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Humanitarian Affairs, which has the authority to recommend that the Interior Ministry grant status in Israel in extraordinary cases. After no response to the request was received from the committee for over a year, HaMoked filed a non-response appeal with the Appeals Tribunal. Following the submission of the appeal, it was decided on May 5, 2015 to grant the boy temporary residency in Israel (an A/5 visa) for two years, after which the option to grant him permanent residency would be examined.

In light of the fact that the boy has been in the care of Israeli authorities since the day he was born, and due to their failure to resolve his status, HaMoked submitted an additional appeal on June 8 2015, in which the Appeals Tribunal was requested to instruct the state to grant the boy permanent residency immediately. On September 12, 2016, the Appeals Tribunal gave the force of a judgment to the arrangement between the two sides, in which it was decided that the Inter-Ministerial Committee would reconsider granting the boy permanent residency in March 2017, and that "the burden of completing the appellant's registration in the population registry is on the state, and not on the foster family."

Despite this arrangement, the issue of upgrading the boy's status was only brought before the Inter-Ministerial Committee in August 2018, five months past the scheduled date. Even after the foster family submitted all the documents demanded by the Committee, it continued to delay its response. As such, on March 6, 2018, HaMoked was compelled to turn to the Appeals Tribunal for the third time, due to the extended lack of response.

On May 3, 2018, the Tribunal decided on HaMoked's third appeal on the matter of the boy's registration, and ruled that he should be given permanent residency status immediately. The Tribunal criticized the prolonged foot-dragging by the authorities in addressing the matter. And so, following a struggle lasting more than seven years, HaMoked finally succeeded in bringing the Interior Ministry to grant permanent status to a boy who has spent his entire life in Israel.
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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