Palestinians holding foreign passports banned from landing in Israel

Jerusalem raid 2
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A set of new Israeli restrictions imposed on foreigners entering the occupied West Bank on October 20. The new rules prevent diaspora Palestinians who hold foreign passports from landing in Tel Aviv, and force them to use the King Hussein Bridge if they wish to visit the West Bank, according to Israeli media.اضافة اعلان

The controversial Israeli rules also stipulate that foreigners should notify Israeli authorities within 30 days of starting a relationship with a Palestinian citizen, but international outcry forced Israel to remove the stipulation; Israel revised the guidelines last month after coming under pressure from US President Joe Biden’s administration and from European governments, according to US and Israeli media.

Times of Israel reported last week that the rules included other measures that were called into question, such as significant curbs on the ability of foreigners to study, volunteer or work in the West Bank — in a major blow to student exchange programs operated by the EU among others — and proposed quotas for academic exchange programs that would have allowed just 150 foreign professors and 100 students to attend Palestinian universities each year.

Maria (alias), a Colombian researcher, is married to a Palestinian living in a village near Ramallah. She told Jordan News that being married to a Palestinian man for over 30 years and spending most of those years living in a Palestinian village “did not mean that she or any of her three children can claim Palestinian IDs or a legal residence permit in their home town”.

In order to ensure a better future for their stateless children, Maria and her husband worked to help them get US passports.

Director of Operations at the Geneva-based EuroMed Rights Anas Al Jirjawi said that “the essence of the (Israeli) rules mirrors the Israeli policy of controlling Palestinians’ lives.”

He told Jordan News that “such a rule (pertaining to relationships with a Palestinian national) is political and cannot be justified on any grounds”.

Preventing Palestinians from landing in Tel Aviv is “arbitrary, discriminatory, unnecessary, and legally unjustifiable”, Jirjawi said, stressing that it violates international law and freedom of movement.

Ayman Halaseh, professor of public international law and human rights, told Jordan News that the new restrictions are inhumane and contradict the right of a family to stay united, which is enshrined in all human rights agreements.

He added that “the only possible mechanism to combat the restrictions is to challenge them in Israeli courts, then resort to international venues”.

Faisal Al-Khozai, international lawyer and former Jordan representative at the International Criminal Court, said the Israeli restrictions are discriminatory, noting that US embassies have the obligation to protect American citizens, including thousands of US citizens of Palestinian ancestry, against discrimination.

According to a 2013 American Community Survey, there over 85,000 of Palestinian ancestry living in the US.

The US embassy in Amman did not respond to the request for a comment.

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