Human Rights Watch slammed the Zionist entity’s revocations of the residency status of thousands of Palestinians from East Al-Quds (Jerusalem) over the years, saying such moves illustrates Tel Aviv’s two-tiered system it maintains in the holy city.
In a report published on Monday, the New York-based watchdog said that between the start of Israel’s occupation of East Al-Quds in 1967 and the end of 2016, Israeli authorities revoked the status of at least 14,595 Palestinians from teh city, according to the Interior Ministry.
“Authorities have justified most revocations based on a failure to prove a “center of life” in Jerusalem but, in recent years, they have also revoked status to punish Palestinians accused of attacking Israelis and as collective punishment against relatives of suspected assailants. The discriminatory system pushes many Palestinians to leave their home city in what amounts to forcible transfers, a serious violation of international law,” HRW said.
“Israel claims to treat Jerusalem as a unified city, but the reality is effectively one set of rules for Jews and another for Palestinians,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
“Entrenched discrimination against Palestinians in Jerusalem, including residency policies that imperil their legal status, feeds the alienation of the city’s residents.”
Human Rights Watch interviewed eight families in Al-Quds whose residency has been revoked between March and July 2017, reviewed status revocation letters, court decisions, and other official documents, in addition to speaking to their lawyers. The identity of several interviewees has been concealed to protect their privacy and prevent possible reprisals from authorities.