St. Yves Registers 7 Children of the Same Family at the Israeli Ministry of Interior

  • Date: 2016-09-05

The Society of St. Yves – Catholic Center for Human Rights registered 7 children of the same family at the Israeli Ministry of Interior after a struggle that lasted for more than 16 years.

“M.R” a 35 year old woman and a mother to 7 children approached St. Yves seeking legal assistance to register her children after attempting to do so for several years, to no avail. Those attempts were constantly denied and rejected by the Ministry of Interior allegedly because they did not prove Jerusalem to be their “center of life”. This affected the family tremendously as they had no sense of stability and the future of the children was uncertain. In addition they were facing a challenging financial situation as the mother was unemployed and the father had serious health issues that prevented a stable employment.

After preparing all necessary documents and applications, St. Yves managed to prove that Jerusalem is in fact their “center of life”, and then approached the Ministry of Interior which finally granted St. Yves request and registered all 7 children after a legal battle that lasted 16 years.

The “center of life” criteria is a condition that sets a high standard of proof requiring the submission of many documents, including such items as home ownership papers or a rent contract, various bills (water, electricity, municipal taxes), salary slips, proof of receiving medical care in the city, certification of children’s school registration. Palestinians failing to prove that they had lived in Jerusalem over the past seven consecutive years were forced to leave their homes, their families and their jobs. They were denied the right to live and work in Jerusalem as well as in the rest of Israel. Furthermore, they and their families were deprived of their social benefits. This criterion has been used as one of the main Israeli policies to void Jerusalem from its Palestinian citizens.