Ever since the illegal annexation of Jerusalem in 19676, Israel maintained policies that aim at diminishing the Palestinian existence in the city. The main tools put into practice by Israeli authorities are a discriminative and rigid system of policies and legal procedures for family unification and child registration.The Israeli Ministry of Interior (MOI) has ensured that Palestinian East Jerusalem resident parents do not pass on residency to their future generations. Instead of sharing their city with their offspring, they bequeath to their children a life of uncertainty, fear, poverty and statelessness.
Under Israeli law, the child of an Israeli citizen is entitled to citizenship by virtue of his parentage, but a child of an East Jerusalem resident is denied any such birth right. There exists no automatic right to residency, and an East Jerusalem resident child, even if born and raised in Jerusalem, cannot “inherit” his parent’s status. While a child born to an Israeli parent will receive Israeli citizenship even if the child never set foot on Israeli soil, the child of an East Jerusalem resident parent will only receive residency if the parent proves that her or “his center of life” and that of her child is in Jerusalem. While a child born in Israel to an Israeli parent is registered with the Ministry even before leaving the hospital, the child of an East Jerusalem resident born in East Jerusalem is denied this basic right and the parent must file an application for “child registration” and may be required to wait years before the child receives permanent resident status, if at all.
The cases of Mrs. (N.A) and Mrs. (T.K) are once again examples clearly demonstrating such discriminatory policies.
Mrs. (N.A) on one hand is married to a Jerusalemite and together have 4 children. The couple approached St. Yves in the beginning of this year requesting legal assistance in trying to register their children as they had been trying to register their children for 7 years. The (MOI) kept delaying their registration for different irrelevant reasons which resulted in denying these children from accessing their basic rights and most importantly their healthcare services.
St. Yves corresponded with the (MOI) objecting this delay and highlighting the gravity of its effects on the social situation of this family and on its unreliable future.
After a few correspondances, the (MOI) requested additional documents which Yves' lawyer immediately provided. Following that the (MOI) registered the four children enabling them to access their residency, health and education rights which means completely changing their lives.
On the other hand, Mrs. (T.K) a Jerusalemite married to a Palestinian from the West Bank and a mother of three children had also been seeking for the past two year to obtain a family unification permit for her husband and to register her children but in vain. After she approached St. Yves last year, a specialized lawyer filed those two applications with all necessary documents to prove that Jerusalem is in fact their center of life. St. Yves successfully obtained the family unification permit for her husband and registered her children. This again shows the systematic bad intentions of the (MOI) towards Palestinians living in Jerusalem since there was no valid reason for the (MOI) to deny any of these applications previously.