Israel denies 2,000 Palestinians entry based on their family names

An Israeli border police officer pushes away Palestinian protesters outside the Damascus Gate in Old City of Jerusalem, Dec 7, 2017. (photo: Ariel Schalit / AP)
Since 2016, thousands of Palestinian workers from the West Bank have had their entry denied overnight, rendering them jobless.

By Middle East Monitor | Sep 27, 2018

‘It could be hundreds or thousands of people for that matter [who have the same family name]. It is as if cancelling the entry permit for someone called Cohen, when someone else called Cohen did something wrong.’
— Yoav Gal Tamir of the Advice Centre, which represents Palestinian workers

Over the past two years, more than 2,000 people have been impacted by a decision to revoke entry permits to Israel from Palestinians who share a name with someone who has carried out a resistance attack, a report by Hebrew channel Social TV has revealed.

Since 2016, thousands of Palestinian workers from the West Bank, many of whom have worked in Israel for over 20 years, have had their entry denied overnight, rendering them jobless.

When the reason for the refusal is requested, Israeli authorities state that it is due to a shared family name with a suspected resistance attacker, even if no actual familial connection exists between the two parties. The move has impacted hundreds of people with common Palestinian names.

Whilst Israel regularly implements such a policy on the direct family members of resistance attackers usually for the space of a year, some of the recent permit refusals have been found to state their expiry date as 100 years from the time of issuance, effectively barring Palestinians from exiting the West Bank for life.

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