HRW says Is­rael strip­ping Pales­tini­ans of Jerusalem res­i­dency ‘war crime’

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Jerusalem - Hu­man Rights Watch said on Tues­day Is­rael had stripped nearly 15,000 Pales­tini­ans from Jerusalem of their right to live in the city since 1967 and warned that it could be a ‘war crime’.

‘Is­rael claims to treat Jerusalem as a uni­fied city, but the re­al­ity is ef­fec­tively one set of rules for Jews and an­other for Pales­tini­ans’, Sarah Leah Whit­son, HRW’s Mid­dle East di­rec­tor, said in a re­port.

Is­rael oc­cu­pied East Jerusalem dur­ing the 1967 Six Day War in a move never recog­nised by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

The more than 300,000 Pales­tini­ans there have per­ma­nent res­i­dency sta­tus but are not Is­raeli na­tion­als.

While East Jerusalem res­i­dents are al­lowed to ap­ply for cit­i­zen­ship, most do not as they view it as recog­ni­tion of Is­raeli sovereignty.

Since 1967, 14,595 Pales­tini­ans have had their res­i­dence sta­tus re­voked, ef­fec­tively bar­ring them from re­main­ing in the city of their birth, the HRW re­port said cit­ing In­te­rior Min­istry fig­ures.

The ma­jor­ity of th­ese re­vo­ca­tions were due to spend­ing pe­ri­ods of time out of the city, with Is­rael ar­gu­ing their ‘cen­tre of life’ was not in Jerusalem.

‘Res­i­dency re­vo­ca­tions of­ten ef­fec­tively force Pales­tini­ans from East Jerusalem, who are pro­tected by virtue of Is­rael’s oc­cu­pa­tion un­der the Fourth Geneva Con­ven­tion, to leave the ter­ri­tory they live in’, the Hu­man Rights Watch re­port said.

‘De­por­ta­tion or forced trans­fers of any part of the pop­u­la­tion of an oc­cu­pied ter­ri­tory could amount to war crimes’, it said.

HRW’s Mid­dle East di­rec­tor Sarah Leah Whit­son

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