Israel red tape adds to woes of Palestinians in East Jerusalem
EAST JERUSALEM: Palestinians living in East Jerusalem are facing growing bureaucratic pressure from the Israeli authorities.
Last week, the Knesset passed a new law Israeli law that allows the Interior Minister to revoke the residency rights of Palestinians simply if they do not show “loyalty to the state of Israel.”
The move came after years of measures making life harder for the 350,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem.
Since 1967 nearly 15,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem have had their residency rights revoked.
Young couple Tania and Saleem are caught in a bureacratic nightmare. She is Palestinian from Jerusalem and he is from Ramallah. They both work in Ramallah but they would lose their Jerusalem residency rights unless they can constantly prove that Jerusalem is the center of their lives.
The couple’s troubles were further exasperated when they had their first child and the Israeli interior ministry refused to provide the relevant legal documents.
The existence of the Israeli security wall makes the ability to move easily back and forth very difficult and time consuming.
“It is like crossing an international border daily just to get to work or to buy groceries,” Tania told Arab News.
The Palestinian couple have finally found a solution although an uneasy one. They are now living in the crowded unregulated town of Kufr Aqab which is technically part of Jerusalem but is located beyond the arbitrarilybuilt Israeli wall.