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Occupation magazine - Life under occupation

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Amnesty International
Urgent Action

The Israeli authorities have revoked the residency of a Palestinian woman, Nadia Abu Jamal, and stripped her three children of their health care rights. They are threatening to do this to all Palestinians involved in “terror” attacks, and their relatives.
The Israeli Interior Ministry revoked the residency of Nadia Abu Jamal on 26 November. Her husband had been one of two Palestinian men who attacked worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue on 18 November, killing four rabbis and a Druze policeman before being shot dead by police. Following a petition filed before the High Court of Justice, she has been allowed to stay in Israel awaiting a decision from the Court. Her three children, Walid, aged six, Salma, aged four, and Mohammed, aged two, all born and resident in East Jerusalem, have had their cover under Israeli national insurance removed and so have lost all their social benefits, including public health care. When Nadia Abu Jamal went to a clinic with one of her children she was told that the child could not be treated because he had no insurance. Two of the children have chronic health problems needing regular medical treatment. The NGO HaMoked found that the names of the children were deleted from the database of persons covered by national insurance on 19 November, the day after the attack at the synagogue.

The punitive revocation of residency rights, like the punitive demolition of homes, is part of a series of measures the Israeli government is proposing to take after a spate of attacks on Israelis, mostly in East Jerusalem, by individual Palestinians. In an Israeli cabinet meeting on 23 November Prime Minister Netanyahu proposed a new “Jewish nation-state law”, saying, “It cannot be that those who attack Israeli citizens and call for the elimination of the State of Israel will enjoy rights such as National Insurance - and their family members as well, who support them. This law is important in order to exact a price from those who engage in attacks and incitement, including the throwing of stones and firebombs.`

The recent revocations of residency rights appear to be collective punishment, as they have been directed against people who played no part in the attacks. The fact that all members of the Abu Jamal family arrested following the synagogue attack have now been released implies that they are not suspected of being involved in it. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s suggestion that the authorities would revoke the residency rights of those who have taken part in any violence including stone-throwing and incitement – as well as their relatives – would, if implemented, extend the measure to a larger proportion of the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem.

Please write immediately in Hebrew, English or your own language:
n Calling on the authorities to renounce collective punishments and cancel the revocation of residency orders on Nadia Abu Jamal and restore the right to public health care of her three children, Walid, Salma and Mohammed;
n Calling on them to ensure that the residency rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem are respected.

Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu
Office of the Prime Minister
3 Kaplan Street, PO Box 187
Kiryat Ben Gurion
Jerusalem 91950, Israel
Fax: +972 2 556 4838
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister

Minister of the Interior
Gilad Erdan
2 Kaplan Street
PO Box 6158
Kiryat Ben Gurion
Jerusalem 91061, Israel
Fax: +972 2 670 1628
Yehuda Weinstein
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah ad-Din Street, P.O. 49029
Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 3367
Salutation: Dear Mr WeinsteinAlso send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


ADditional Information

Since June there has been a spate of attacks on Israeli civilians and security personnel by individual Palestinians driving vehicles into groups or attacking people, usually with knives. The number of attacks increased after the conflict in Gaza in July and August 2014 and an increase in settlement-building, house demolitions and detentions. In most cases the Palestinian attackers were killed; three were arrested.

Since November, the Israeli authorities have also issued administrative restriction orders prohibiting at least five Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem from returning home for six months. The only reason given was the necessity of “ensuring the security of the state”. Some of them are suspected by the Israeli security forces of stone-throwing, but none has been tried.

Israel occupied the West Bank after the 1967 war and annexed East Jerusalem, giving those who lived in East Jerusalem permanent residency in Israel. However, Israel has frequently tried to reduce the number of Palestinians with rights to permanent residency in Israel; between 1967 and 2013 Israel revoked the residency status of 14,309 Palestinians from East Jerusalem on various pretexts, including those who been out of Jerusalem for some years to study or work abroad. This has often been labelled by human rights NGOs a “quiet deportation”.

Since the first checkpoint between Israel and the Gaza Strip was set up in 1991, movement between the West Bank and East Jerusalem has become more and more difficult, with the building of the fence/wall and checkpoints preventing those from the West Bank from visiting Jerusalem without permits. It is also becoming more difficult for Palestinians from the West Bank who wish to marry Palestinians in East Jerusalem to gain residency in East Jerusalem. As a result, many Palestinian married couples are forced to live apart.

As the occupying power in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Israel is bound by international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 49 of which prohibits `individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory.` Israeli actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are also bound by its obligations under international human rights law treaties, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The failure to grant residency rights to many Palestinian spouses of Palestinian residents of Israel or East Jerusalem is a violation of the right to family life, guaranteed in Article 10 of the ICESCR and in Article 23 of the ICPPR; and is contrary to Articles 9 and 10 of the CRC. The punitive denial of residency to family members of those who have carried out attacks constitutes collective punishment, a violation of a fundamental principle of international law.

Name: Nadia Abu Jamal
Gender m/f: f

UA: 316/14 Index: MDE 15/0 Issue Date: 17 December 2014

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