Israel moves to strip 12 Palestinians of Jerusalem residency

There are 420,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, who are treated as foreign immigrants by Israel. (photo: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

The interior minister says he intends to revoke residency of Palestinians, accusing them of involvement in “terror.”

By Al Jazeera | Mar 21, 2018

“East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL) — like all other areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — and its Palestinian residents are a protected civilian population. It is therefore illegal under IHL to impose upon them an obligation of loyalty to the occupying power, let alone to deny them the permanent residency status on this basis.”
— Adalah, a Palestinian rights group in Israel

Under a recently enacted law, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri has expressed his intentions to strip the residency status of 12 Palestinians in Jerusalem, accusing them of being involved in “terror.”

The law, passed two weeks ago, gives the interior minister the power to strip the residency documents of any Palestinian on grounds of a “breach of loyalty” to Israel.

It will also apply in cases where residency status was obtained on the basis of false information, and in cases where “an individual committed a criminal act” in the view of the interior ministry.

Four of the 12 are affiliated with the Hamas political movement. They were the subject of a controversy in September 2017 when Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that Israeli authorities had no right to strip them of their residency on “breach of loyalty.” after a 10-year legal battle.

When the four were elected to the Palestinian Authority’s legislative body in 2006, Israel’s then-Interior Minister Ronnie Bar-On revoked their Jerusalem residency status, claiming a “breach of loyalty” for being members of a foreign parliament and of Hamas.

They were deported with their families to the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. But last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the interior minister does not have the power to do so after a petition was filed by rights groups.

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