Information provided by COGAT to HaMoked indicates that some 35,000 Palestinians who live in the West Bank were labeled by Israel as "illegal aliens" liable for expulsion, because their registered address is in Gaza המוקד להגנת הפרט
06.07.2010
Information provided by COGAT to HaMoked indicates that some 35,000 Palestinians who live in the West Bank were labeled by Israel as "illegal aliens" liable for expulsion, because their registered address is in Gaza
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On June 6, 2009, HaMoked requested data under the Freedom of Information Act from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) on issues relative to the expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip because their registered address is in Gaza.

As eight months passed with no reply, HaMoked filed a petition under the Freedom of Information Act in a demand to compel the COGAT to reply to the request. On June 6, 2010, the COGAT's reply reached HaMoked.

The reply supplies the following information: 34,681 Palestinians who live in the West Bank are listed as having a Gaza Strip address in Israeli records, of them, 2,479 were born in the West Bank; from 2002 to May 2010, Israel updated in its records 388 address changes from Gaza to the West Bank and 629 from the West Bank to Gaza. The COGAT qualified his reply stating that the information may not reliably reflect reality as "at the time, the computer system was not utilized comprehensively" – in some cases, only a single direction of passage happened to be recorded; a lack of diligence in the registration of the passages and "a lack of full correlation" between the different border control systems; and exits from the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge using foreign passports. 

The data on deportees from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip reveals that each year Israel forcibly removes dozens of Palestinian from the West Bank to Gaza. Up to 2007, four to six individuals were forcibly removed to Gaza each year (according to the data for 2004 and 2007). On the other hand, from early 2008 to mid 2010, 85 individuals were deported, eleven of them had been living in the West Bank prior to the outbreak of the second intifada, and only four of them were issued an expulsion order.

It is important to note that the data include neither Palestinians who were expelled to Gaza immediately upon their release from prison, nor Palestinians who traveled to Gaza on their own initiative, and have since been prevented by Israel from retuning to their homes.

In view of the data and following the entry into force of the Order regarding Infiltration, which, in fact, defines anyone who is present in the West Bank as an "infiltrator" if he does not have a permit of an unspecified type, issued by the military commander or on his behalf, – HaMoked alerts that scores of Palestinians who live in the West Bank and are listed as having a Gaza Strip address in Israeli records, are in jeopardy of being deported from their homes.
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