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.

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