In precedent-setting ruling, Israel’s top court recognizes East Jerusalem Arabs as ’native-born residents’
Over 14,000 Arabs have had their residency rights revoked since 1967 because they were absent from Jerusalem for more than 7 years. Court ruling challenges practice that treated them like immigrants in their own city.
Nir Hasson Mar 16, 2017
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In a precedent-setting ruling, High Court justices have ordered the Interior Ministry to restore the residency rights of a Palestinian man born in East Jerusalem who was denied permission to live in the city after being away for many years.
The ruling challenges a ministry policy of denying residency to many Palestinians born in the city once they’re away for more than seven years.
A three-justice panel ruled that residents of East Jerusalem “have a strong affinity” to the city which must be taken into consideration with respect to residency rights.
With the annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel in 1967, Palestinians did not receive Israeli citizenship but the status of permanent residents, entitling them to freedom of movement. In effect, the state has treated them as immigrants rather than native-born residents.
Since 1967 the Interior Ministry has denied the status of more than 14,000 Palestinians from East Jerusalem citing various reasons. It has been ministry practice, backed by a previous court ruling, to regard Palestinian residency in the city as having “expired” once the person is gone for more than seven years.