Following HaMoked’s petition: the Ministry of Interior stops attempting to compel an East Jerusalem resident to change his registered address in the population registry and publishes a new address-change procedure
On November 23, 2010, a Palestinian resident of Israel sought to renew his identity card at the Ministry of Interior. As then required by the procedure, the man came to the East Jerusalem Ministry of Interior bureau with documents proving that his “center of life” was in Israel. While there, the clerk informed him that although he was registered as living in the Old City of Jerusalem, it was “known” at the bureau that he was “actually” living in Kafr ‘Aqab, a different neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The clerk refused to issue the man an identity card showing the Old City address, and said a new identity card could only be issued if the address was changed to Kafr ‘Aqab. For almost a year the man tried to get his identity card renewed, but the Ministry of Interior persisted in its demand.
On October 2, 2011, HaMoked petitioned
the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to instruct the Ministry of Interior to renew the man’s identity card without demanding a change of address. HaMoked also asked that the ministry be instructed to apply an address-change procedure to Israeli residents (both permanent and temporary), that is similar to the one applied to citizens. HaMoked asserted that the Ministry of Interior’s attempt the initiate a forced address change, contrary to the man’s proven address claim, was in breach of the provisions of the Population Registry Law
. HaMoked added that the Ministry of Interior’s decision was discriminating against the man as compared to citizens, against whom the state did not instigate an intense inquiry with the aim of changing their listed address from one street to another.
A day after the petition was filed, and following its undertaking to the HCJ in the framework of a petition filed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel
(HCJ 6825/07), the Ministry of Interior published a new address-change procedure, providing that residents may change their registered address at the post office, just like citizens. The procedure cancelled the previous requirement that permanent residents present documents proving their center of life as a condition for changing their registered address. Under the new procedure, the clerk may demand that a permanent resident present such documents only if there is reasonable cause to assume that the permanent resident’s status has “expired”.
In late June, 2012, after another Ministry of Interior hearing on the man’s case, the Ministry of Interior announced it would renew the man’s identity card, including his address in the Old City. At HaMoked’s request, the court deleted the petition
and imposed trial costs on the Ministry of Interior.