HaMoked receives state response to its petition under the Freedom of Information Act, regarding the Ministry of Interior's implementation of Government Decision No. 2492: According to the decision, Palestinians who have lived in Jerusalem for many years without status will no longer receive permanent residency status המוקד להגנת הפרט عر HE wheel chair icon
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01.03.2011
HaMoked receives state response to its petition under the Freedom of Information Act, regarding the Ministry of Interior's implementation of Government Decision No. 2492: According to the decision, Palestinians who have lived in Jerusalem for many years without status will no longer receive permanent residency status
HaMoked receives state response to its petition under the Freedom of Information Act, regarding the Ministry of Interior's implementation of Government Decision No. 2492: According to the decision, Palestinians who have lived in Jerusalem for many years without status will no longer receive permanent residency status
On 28 October 2007, the government adopted Government Decision No. 2492, according to which residents of the West Bank who had lived in Jerusalem continuously since 1987 without a permit could submit applications for temporary permits. Applications were to be filed by the end of April 2008.  Those whose applications were approved would receive renewable military permits to reside in Jerusalem, without any option of receiving either temporary or permanent residency status in Israel.
 
Prior to the decision, the Ministry of Interior ("MOI") generally granted permanent residency status to persons who were not included in the population census held in Jerusalem in 1967, but proved that they had lived in the city on a permanent basis prior to the census and continued to live in Jerusalem without interruption thereafter. The 2007 decision no longer permitted this practice; even if a person proved that he lived in Jerusalem since 1967, he would remain ineligible for permanent residency status and would receive military permits only. Moreover, the MOI clarified that the implementation of this decision would apply retroactively to applications for permanent residency that had already been submitted.
 
The applicant was required to meet an almost impossibly long list of written proofs, including authorizations showing that the applicants have lived continuously within Jerusalem at least since 1987.
 
HaMoked raised its objections to the government decision beginning in January 2008, in a series of correspondences with the MOI. In its letters, HaMoked argued that the decision was based on an improper demographic purpose: to prevent the inclusion of non-Jews in the Israeli population registry. Taking into account the numerous documents demanded as part of the application process, the real intention here is not to legalize the stay of West Bank residents in Jerusalem. Under the guise of a “humanitarian arrangement,” the government is gathering a wealth of incriminating information that may be used to arrest and deport those residing in Jerusalem illegally.

HaMoked also noted that the granting of permanent status in Israel to applicants should be the interest of the MOI itself. Any state responsible for the well-being of those subject to its control should have an interest in ensuring a modicum of stability by granting status that entitles such residents to social security rights, access to medical treatment and freedom of movement. 

The MOI rejected HaMoked's arguments. It maintained that the possibility of obtaining permanent status had already been exhausted and that the state is not obliged to grant permanent status on the basis of residency claims dating back 40 years. 

In March 2010, HaMoked submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act, asking for detailed information about the MOI's implementation of the decision. HaMoked wanted to asses whether the MOI is in fact approving applications filed in accordance with the decision or whether these applications are being met with denials. Despite repeated requests for the information, a response was never received, and in September 2010, HaMoked filed a petition to the Jerusalem District Court, asking the Court to compel the MOI to answer its inquiries. The MOI replied only on 31 January 2011.
 
According to the MOI response – 817 applications were submitted prior to the April 2008 deadline; less than 4% of applications (31) were approved; 42% of applications were denied (340); a remaining 446 applications are still being processed; and 24 additional applications submitted after the April 2008 deadline were denied out of hand.
 
These numbers substantiate HaMoked's suspicions that Decision 2492 is humanitarian in name only, motivated by an improper demographic purpose.
 
HaMoked has also learned that where applications have been approved, persons have been receiving military permits confining them to the vicinity of their neighborhood only, raising additional doubt as to the purported "humanitarian" intentions of Decision 2492. 
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On 28 October 2007, the government adopted Government Decision No. 2492, according to which residents of the West Bank who had lived in Jerusalem continuously since 1987 without a permit could submit applications for temporary permits. Applications were to be filed by the end of April 2008.  Those whose applications were approved would receive renewable military permits to reside in Jerusalem, without any option of receiving either temporary or permanent residency status in Israel.
 
Prior to the decision, the Ministry of Interior ("MOI") generally granted permanent residency status to persons who were not included in the population census held in Jerusalem in 1967, but proved that they had lived in the city on a permanent basis prior to the census and continued to live in Jerusalem without interruption thereafter. The 2007 decision no longer permitted this practice; even if a person proved that he lived in Jerusalem since 1967, he would remain ineligible for permanent residency status and would receive military permits only. Moreover, the MOI clarified that the implementation of this decision would apply retroactively to applications for permanent residency that had already been submitted.
 
The applicant was required to meet an almost impossibly long list of written proofs, including authorizations showing that the applicants have lived continuously within Jerusalem at least since 1987.
 
HaMoked raised its objections to the government decision beginning in January 2008, in a series of correspondences with the MOI. In its letters, HaMoked argued that the decision was based on an improper demographic purpose: to prevent the inclusion of non-Jews in the Israeli population registry. Taking into account the numerous documents demanded as part of the application process, the real intention here is not to legalize the stay of West Bank residents in Jerusalem. Under the guise of a “humanitarian arrangement,” the government is gathering a wealth of incriminating information that may be used to arrest and deport those residing in Jerusalem illegally.

HaMoked also noted that the granting of permanent status in Israel to applicants should be the interest of the MOI itself. Any state responsible for the well-being of those subject to its control should have an interest in ensuring a modicum of stability by granting status that entitles such residents to social security rights, access to medical treatment and freedom of movement. 

The MOI rejected HaMoked's arguments. It maintained that the possibility of obtaining permanent status had already been exhausted and that the state is not obliged to grant permanent status on the basis of residency claims dating back 40 years. 

In March 2010, HaMoked submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act, asking for detailed information about the MOI's implementation of the decision. HaMoked wanted to asses whether the MOI is in fact approving applications filed in accordance with the decision or whether these applications are being met with denials. Despite repeated requests for the information, a response was never received, and in September 2010, HaMoked filed a petition to the Jerusalem District Court, asking the Court to compel the MOI to answer its inquiries. The MOI replied only on 31 January 2011.
 
According to the MOI response – 817 applications were submitted prior to the April 2008 deadline; less than 4% of applications (31) were approved; 42% of applications were denied (340); a remaining 446 applications are still being processed; and 24 additional applications submitted after the April 2008 deadline were denied out of hand.
 
These numbers substantiate HaMoked's suspicions that Decision 2492 is humanitarian in name only, motivated by an improper demographic purpose.
 
HaMoked has also learned that where applications have been approved, persons have been receiving military permits confining them to the vicinity of their neighborhood only, raising additional doubt as to the purported "humanitarian" intentions of Decision 2492. 
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