First successful case in the battle to amend registration procedures for children with only one Israeli resident parent: following HaMoked’s intervention, a young woman is given Israeli status, after years of living in Israel pursuant to military permits only
For many years, the Ministry of Interior imposed the precondition of “center of life” – i.e., proven period of life in Israel for the previous two years – for acceptance for review of applications for registration in the Israeli population registry of children with only one parent who is a permanent Israeli resident. Applications that were filed before the family was deemed to have met this condition, were not examined, and the parents were instructed to reapply only at the end of the stipulated period.
On April 19, 2015, the Ministry of Interior published an updated version of the procedure for registering children with only one Israeli resident parent
– this, following a Supreme Court appeal case, in which HaMoked joined proceedings as “amicus curiae”
. The amended procedures allow reconsideration of child registration applications that were initially dismissed out of hand due to lack of “center of life”, and provided that the renewed application satisfied this two-year condition; such reconsideration is to be made according to the child’s age at the date of submission of the initial, rejected application
. This change has a life-changing significance for children who had lived in the OPT at one time or registered in the population registry there, and were already over age 14 when the renewed application for their registration was filed; this change in procedure might enable these children – who are compelled to live with their families in Israel pursuant to just renewable, military-issued stay-permits, under the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) – to receive permanent residency status in Israel.
In 2006, a Palestinian woman, a resident of East Jerusalem, moved back to live in the city, along with her husband, a West Bank resident, and their children. Her application
, filed that same year, to register in Israel her 13-year-old daughter – who had been born and registered in the West Bank – was rejected due to lack of “center of life”. Finally, six years later, the application was approved, but owing to the “Temporary Order” limitations, the daughter received only temporary, military-issued stay permits, which afford no assurance as to the future and no social security rights, not even health insurance.
On June 18, 2015, HaMoked filed an application for reconsideration of the young woman’s registration in the Israeli population registry, in light of the revised child registration procedure. On September 16, 2015, following persistent letters, the application to legalize the young woman’s status was approved: initially she would be given temporary residency for two years, following which, it would be decided whether to upgrade her status to permanent Israeli residency, subject to the ministry procedures.
During May-July 2015, HaMoked filed eleven such applications for reconsideration. As of this writing, only in this case, has the application been approved; two were rejected, the others are still pending the ministry’s decision.