The Parliament of Israel has passed a controversial legislation which will allow it to repeal the rights of residency of Palestinians living in Jerusalem on the pretext of “breach of loyalty” to Israel. The Bill will also hold for those cases where Palestinians got residency status based on fake information and in cases where individuals were involved in criminal acts as per the viewpoint of the interior ministry of Israel.
The new law will thus, permit the Interior Minister of Israel, Aryeh Deri to strip the residency of any Palestinian who is perceived as a threat. Palestine Liberation Organization has slammed the legislation and termed it as highly racist and a gross violation of international law.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of PLO has stated, “By unethically stripping the residency of Palestinians from Jerusalem and depriving the rights of those Palestinians to remain in their own city, the Israeli government is acting in defiance of international law and is violating international human rights and humanitarian laws,”.
Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem are issued permanent residency cards and temporary Jordanian passports, which are issued only for travelling. They are thus citizens of nowhere effectively as they are stateless. The new bill will increase hardships for approximately 420,000 Palestinians who are living in East Jerusalem and are given the treatment of foreign immigrants. Although East Jerusalem has always been claimed by Israel as its eternal and undivided capital the Palestinians residing there were not conferred Israeli citizenship. Israel has so far repealed the residency status of 14,000 Palestinians since 1967.
Palestinians have declared the law as void and illegal as per the international humanitarian law as East Jerusalem is seen as an occupied territory as Gaza and West Bank. Palestinian residents of the area thus form a protected civilian population. Thus, it is completely illegal to force loyalty towards an occupying power as per the IHL. Also, under the treaty of International Criminal Court, revocation of residency and thereby forcing out of Palestinians from East Jerusalem can amount to war crimes. Only US and Russia have so far ratified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.