St. Yves Demands the Israeli Ministry of Health to Cancel Discriminatory Health Insurance Payment Imposed on Palestinians Holding a Family Unification Permit

  • Date: 2016-08-25

The Israeli Ministry of Health issued regulations on the 1st of August 2016, allowing Palestinians holding family unification permits to access health services with the condition of making a retroactive “initial payment”. If the person applying for family unification holds a “permanent residency”, i.e. Jerusalem ID, his/her partner need to be holding a family unification permit for 27 consecutive months and to pay an “initial payment” of 7,695 NIS to access health services. On the other hand if the applier holds an Israeli citizenship, his/her partner need to be holding a family unification permit for 6 months and pay 1,710 Nis, which constitutes a clear discrimination against the Palestinian residents living in East Jerusalem. Those new regulations are part of an ongoing Israeli policies against Palestinians aiming at denying them their basic rights, including right to health services.

It is also important to note that the “initial payment” of 7,695 NIS is considered to be high for the average Palestinian Jerusalemite due to their difficult financial and social conditions, especially taking into consideration that this amount is paid per person, and for families it multiplies, and thus, the vast majority of Palestinian Jerusalemites find themselves unable to make this payment.

Accordingly, St. Yves urgently corresponded with the Israeli Ministry of Health requesting that they refrain from imposing the “initial payment” of 7,695 NIS as a condition to access health services and to allow holders of family unification permits married to Palestinians holding a Jerusalem ID to access health services as per the official health insurance policies.

St. Yves also requested the Ministry to cease and annul any discriminatory policies between family unification permit appliers holding Israeli passports on one hand and Jerusalem ID holders on another hand. St. Yves added that this “initial payment” should not be a condition to access health services.

If the demands are rejected, St. Yves will appeal to the Israeli High Court and will request an injunction to freeze these procedures until the Israeli High Court responds to St. Yves’ appeal.