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HaMoked to the Ministry of Interior: grant legal status to the minor children of residents of East Jerusalem while their status reinstatement is being examined

Since 1967, the Ministry of Interior has conducted a policy aimed at forcing the residents of East Jerusalem out of the city. As part of this policy, the Ministry of Interior relies on the "'Awad Precedent" from 1988, according to which the permanent residency of Palestinians from East Jerusalem can expire if their 'center of life' is transferred outside of Israel and East Jerusalem, or if they acquire residency status in a different country.

In 2000, the Ministry of Interior announced a new regulation that included the possibility of reinstating residency that had "expired", provided those requesting reinstatement reside in Israel or East Jerusalem for two years. In 2015, in response to a freedom of information request submitted by HaMoked, the Ministry of Interior announced that it had begun applying a more lenient policy to its review of such requests. This policy was officially presented to the Supreme Court in 2017, as part of a case where the Court ruled that the status of residents of East Jerusalem is unique as indigenous inhabitants of the city, and that status that has expired due to transfer of "center of life" overseas can be reinstated.

During the two-year period that their status reinstatement is being examined, returning East Jerusalemites receive a temporary residency status (A/5 visa) that enables them to work and to receive health care benefits. However, if they return to Jerusalem with minor children who were born while they were living abroad, these children have no legal status in Israel while their parent's request for status reinstatement is being examined. On July 23, 2018, HaMoked requested that the Ministry of Interior legalize these minors' status in a manner protecting their rights to health and education, while their parent's request is being examined. HaMoked emphasized that until now, it has had to turn to the courts in individual cases in order to legalize the status of minors in this situation, and that in all such cases, the Ministry of Interior agreed to grant temporary status to the minors until the conclusion of the process for reinstating their parents' status.

In its letter, HaMoked requested, in essence, that the natural life circumstances of the indigenous inhabitants of East Jerusalem be taken into consideration when their requests for status reinstatement are being examined. This, in order to enable them to return to their city with their children, without harming the children's basic rights to education and health. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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