New Bill Allowing Revocation of Residency of Palestinians in East Jerusalem For "Breach of Loyalty" is Illegal

It is illegal under IHL to impose upon East Jerusalem residents an obligation of loyalty to the occupying power

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, sent a comprehensive letter to the Interior Ministry on 7 February 2018, detailing their grave concerns regarding a newly-proposed bill to amend the Entry into Israel Law.


This new bill will allow the revocation of residency status of East Jerusalem Palestinians on three possible grounds: for "breach of loyalty"; in cases where the status was granted on the basis of false information; and in cases where "an individual committed a criminal act" in the view of the Interior Ministry.


The new bill was drafted following the Israeli Supreme Court's decision of 13 September 2017 on a petition against the revocation of permanent residency of four Palestinian parliamentarians from East Jerusalem on the grounds of "breach of loyalty". The בourt ruled, in a precedent-setting decision, that the Entry into Israel Law does not grant the Interior Minister power to revoke permanent residency status due to "breach of loyalty".


However, the Court decided to suspend the decision for six months to allow the Knesset to amend the law, if it so wished, to permit revocation of residency on this ground. Thus, the בourt permitted the revocation of residency to stand despite finding it to be illegal.


The organizations argued that East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL) - like all other areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - and that its Palestinian residents are a protected civilian population. It is therefore illegal under IHL to impose upon them an obligation of loyalty to the occupying power, let alone to deny them the permanent residency status on this basis.


The organizations further argued that this legislation is unconstitutional since it violates the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, and is extreme, sweepingת and disproportionate.


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