In Response to St. Yves Demand: Israeli Ministry of Interior Undertakes to Make Improvements on Condition of Services for Palestinians in Jerusalem

  • Date: 2018-05-03

The Society of St. Yves - Catholic Center for Human Rights submitted a demand to the Israeli Ministry of Interior, calling on it to implement immediate improvements on the humiliating and dysfunctional conditions of services for Palestinians who hold a "permanent residency status", provided through its exclusive office in Jerusalem, whereas Israeli citizens can enjoy facilitated services provided through any office scattered through Jerusalem.


The demand as submitted by St. Yves called on the Israeli Ministry of Interior to improve its turn system and introduce it in Arabic so that Palestinians from Jerusalem can understand it and use it. Moreover, the demand requested the Ministry of Interior to find an immediate solution for students who need to issue biometric cards in an urgent manner to enable them to take the "Tawjihi" high school exams which will take place soon, and who cannot afford the dysfunctional and inaccesible waiting system provided through the Ministry of Interior.


Israel's Ministry of Interior responded by confirming that it is considering renovating the current building in a manner which would allow it to add more intake offices, and that it plans to add a sunshade in the exterior waiting area. The Ministry of Interior also undertook to resolve the issue of biometric cards for students through finding an external hall in one of East Jerusalem's school to provide such service for the students in an urgent manner. The response also included a promise to improve and Arabize the waiting turn system.


Despite the fact that Israel's Minister of Interior promised several times to open new service offices to improve service conditions for Palestinians from Jerusalem, the poor and inferior conditions of service remain the same, and have a direct impact on discouraging Palestinian Jerusalemites from seeking the services of the Ministry of interior, including services related to the requirement of "proving" their residency in Jerusalem, as required by Israeli laws. Failure to prove that a Palestinian's "center of life" is in Jerusalem results in the revocation of residency status by Israel's Ministry of Interior. The humiliating service conditions dedicated for Palestinians in these terms have been used as a tool to serve Israeli policies in forcibly transferring Palestinians of Jerusalem from their home city.