Security Prisoner
Security Detainee
Administrative Detainee

Following a prolonged battle: two of the three daughters of a resident of East Jerusalem, who fell victim to domestic violence, have received residency status in Israel

In 2013, a Palestinian woman, originally a resident of East Jerusalem, successfully escaped the home of her abusive husband in Hebron, following years of domestic violence and for fear she might be seriously hurt due to her desire to divorce him. The woman moved into a shelter for victims of domestic violence in Haifa, and was joined a short while later by four of her six children. She began working as a cleaner, rented an apartment – first in Umm al-Fahm and later in East Jerusalem – and began a long journey towards building a new life, far away from her abusive husband.

In early 2014, the woman approached the Ministry of Interior in an effort to register her three minor daughters – who were registered at the time of their birth in the Palestinian population registry – as residents of Israel, granting them status and rights in the country. But alas, residents who are not citizens (a group consisting mostly of Palestinians from East Jerusalem) are required to update their registered address when changing their place of residency, as a precondition to receiving any services from the Ministry of Interior. Further, residents who have not requested services from the Ministry of Interior in the seven years prior to their current request, are required to prove "center of life" at their new address as a precondition for their address change. Due to this requirement, the woman was forced to wait over two and a half years before she was able to submit the request to register her daughters, and all the while, the girls remained in the country with no legal status.

The woman's request to change her address was finally approved in early October 2016, only following HaMoked's intervention. Subsequently, on October 25, 2016, the woman submitted, with HaMoked's help, a request to register her daughters – but received no response for many months.

On February 26, 2018, HaMoked submitted a non-response appeal to the Appeals Tribunal, demanding that the Ministry of Interior be instructed to decide on the request immediately. In the appeal, HaMoked claimed that the delay in reviewing the request harms the girls' basic rights to welfare, health and a stable family life, and completely ignores their difficult background and the upheaval they underwent.

On May 21, 2018, a day before the scheduled hearing on the appeal, the woman received a summons for an interview at the Ministry of Interior, following which it was decided that two of the girls would be granted status in Israel, and the third would be granted only a military permit. The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (2003) differentiates between children who have previously lived in the occupied territories or have been registered there, according to their age at the time of the submission of a request to register them in Israel. Children under the age of 14 are permitted to receive status in the country, but children who are 14 or over will at most be granted a stay permit, which does not grant them full social security rights. It should be emphasized, that had it not been for the cumbersome bureaucratic process the woman was forced to undergo before she was able to submit the request to register her daughters, the third daughter would have been granted the same status as her sisters, having arrived in Israel in 2014 when she was only 13 years old.

On June 28, 2018, four and a half years after the woman's return to Israel, her daughters were finally granted status in the country.

This case demonstrates the Israeli authorities' bureaucratic abuse of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem who request basic registration services that have far reaching consequences. These residents are frequently required to present a wide range of evidence to the authorities, and are forced to wait long periods of time for the authorities to respond to their requests. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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