The Palestinian Supreme Court rules: the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee must accept Palestinians' notices on change of residence from Gaza to the West Bank in the Palestinian population registry, despite opposition by Israel המוקד להגנת הפרט عر HE wheel chair icon
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25.10.2010
The Palestinian Supreme Court rules: the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee must accept Palestinians' notices on change of residence from Gaza to the West Bank in the Palestinian population registry, despite opposition by Israel
The Palestinian Supreme Court rules: the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee must accept Palestinians' notices on change of residence from Gaza to the West Bank in the Palestinian population registry, despite opposition by Israel
On October 2, 2010, the Palestinian Supreme Court instructed the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee to accept Palestinians' notices on change of residence from Gaza to the West Bank. This concerns Palestinians who live in the West Bank but are registered in a Gaza address in the population registry. The judgment, rendered in a petition of a Palestinian businessman whose request to alter his registered address was refused, stipulates that the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee is to exercise the full authority it is vested with in this matter under the Oslo Accords. 

The backdrop to the Palestinian court's decision is the illegal conduct of Israel in the matter, and it is as yet unclear how or indeed whether it would be influenced by the decision. 

Of the tens of thousands who share the petitioner's predicament, many moved years ago to the West Bank, their registered address, however, remained outdated in the population registry, in consequence of the Israeli refusal, since 2000, to update its own copy of the population registry. The Palestinian Authority, unwilling to issue its residents with ID cards with details that do not correspond to the Israeli registry copy, has been long refusing to accept such notices of address change. Thus these tens of thousands Palestinians who live in the West Bank and are registered in Gaza addresses, were left exposed to the Israeli threat of instant deportation from their homes. Such threat serves the Israeli policy employed in recent years, aimed at removing Palestinians who live in the West Bank to Gaza based solely on their registered address in Israeli records, which, as stated, are deliberately kept outdated. The policy violates the protected residents' right to choose their residence within their country, narrowing their steps; each daily outing, any routine checkpoint examination, might end in being loaded to a military vehicle, and expelled to Gaza, sometimes within hours. 

The Israeli practice is illegal. Under the Oslo Accords, Israel has no authority in the matter of address entries in the Palestinian population registry. Its sole obligation is to update addresses in the population registry, to suit the notices it receives from the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee. In refusing to update its registry copy, Israel has created a deviant situation, such that perverts the sole aim of the registry - to reflect reality, and instead, the purposely erroneous registry dictates the realty. 

On May 2010, HaMoked, along with 15 other human rights organizations, petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice against the Israeli practice to forcefully transfer Palestinians from the West Bank to Gaza. They demanded to order Israel to update its copy of the Palestinian population registry, as its refusal to do so constitutes a violation of the Interim Agreement, of the military order incorporating it to the military legislation, and also the legislation regarding the population registry. A hearing is set for this April.
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On October 2, 2010, the Palestinian Supreme Court instructed the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee to accept Palestinians' notices on change of residence from Gaza to the West Bank. This concerns Palestinians who live in the West Bank but are registered in a Gaza address in the population registry. The judgment, rendered in a petition of a Palestinian businessman whose request to alter his registered address was refused, stipulates that the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee is to exercise the full authority it is vested with in this matter under the Oslo Accords. 

The backdrop to the Palestinian court's decision is the illegal conduct of Israel in the matter, and it is as yet unclear how or indeed whether it would be influenced by the decision. 

Of the tens of thousands who share the petitioner's predicament, many moved years ago to the West Bank, their registered address, however, remained outdated in the population registry, in consequence of the Israeli refusal, since 2000, to update its own copy of the population registry. The Palestinian Authority, unwilling to issue its residents with ID cards with details that do not correspond to the Israeli registry copy, has been long refusing to accept such notices of address change. Thus these tens of thousands Palestinians who live in the West Bank and are registered in Gaza addresses, were left exposed to the Israeli threat of instant deportation from their homes. Such threat serves the Israeli policy employed in recent years, aimed at removing Palestinians who live in the West Bank to Gaza based solely on their registered address in Israeli records, which, as stated, are deliberately kept outdated. The policy violates the protected residents' right to choose their residence within their country, narrowing their steps; each daily outing, any routine checkpoint examination, might end in being loaded to a military vehicle, and expelled to Gaza, sometimes within hours. 

The Israeli practice is illegal. Under the Oslo Accords, Israel has no authority in the matter of address entries in the Palestinian population registry. Its sole obligation is to update addresses in the population registry, to suit the notices it receives from the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee. In refusing to update its registry copy, Israel has created a deviant situation, such that perverts the sole aim of the registry - to reflect reality, and instead, the purposely erroneous registry dictates the realty. 

On May 2010, HaMoked, along with 15 other human rights organizations, petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice against the Israeli practice to forcefully transfer Palestinians from the West Bank to Gaza. They demanded to order Israel to update its copy of the Palestinian population registry, as its refusal to do so constitutes a violation of the Interim Agreement, of the military order incorporating it to the military legislation, and also the legislation regarding the population registry. A hearing is set for this April.
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