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Marian Houk @Marianhouk
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Complicated and Stiffling: Raja Shehadeh explains how Israel’s restrictions are making life increasingly untenable for academics without (Israeli-issued) Palestinian ID cards...
Link: (subscriber only, so will tweet some excerpts)…
Shehadeh: "Throughout the 1980s, Israel used its power over Palestinian universities to close them for extended periods. It has been unable to do this since the transfer of control over education to the Palest Auth under the 1995 Oslo Accords, but it continues to practise control
"...through the authority it (Israel) retains to issue work permits and (entry) visas" (or visa extensions): Raja Shehadeh
Raja Shehadeh: "It is difficult for those not confronted w/ the Israeli work permit system to understand how it works. The application is first presented to the
Palest Auth. But even if this is approved, it is of no significance because the real work permit is supposed to be....
"...issued by the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories
(COGAT)", or @cogat_israel -- which is "part of the Civil Administration that was established in 1981 during the full Israeli occupation of the West Bank + Gaza Strip"...
[So, *Civil Administration*... )
"Yet even that permit, if it is granted, is not enough unless the Israeli Interior Ministry subsequently issues a visa. That visa is (nowadays) typically valid only for travel in Judea and Samaria, the Israeli name for the West Bank": Raja Shehadeh.
(With the "Judea & Samaria stamp...) "The numerous checkpoints separating Israel from the West Bank therefore ensure that visa holders are unable to pass into Israel": Raja Shehadeh
"Despite this, when they refuse visa extensions, the Israeli authorities do so on the grounds not that the faculty member in question constitutes a security threat or has violated any law but that they can't grant visas that allow foreigners to reside in Israel..
(nb:"in Israel")
"...for more than a total of five years": Raja Shehadeh
Raja Shehadeh: "The whole anxious and time-consuming process of renewing visas is replete with a sort of perverse legalism that the Israeli sociologist Yael Berda has called 'governing through emergency'...”
"Those caught up in it have to endure a suspension of their plans for the future as the two Israeli authorities (i.e., one in the West Bank, one in Israel) keep them dangling with promises and unexplained delays in what amounts to a truly Kafkaesque process": Raja Shehadeh
"Palestinian students have few options to study abroad, so if they are to acquire a quality education with an international outlook it is vital that local universities be able to tap into international expertise": Raja Shehadeh
"Yet residency* cards have been denied even to some Palestinian-born faculty who have sought to pass on to local students the invaluable knowledge + skills they derived from an education in the US or Europe"
(*Residency in the occupied Palest territory requires a Palest ID card)
(There's no type of visa that the Israeli military "Civil Administration" issues to "foreign" passport holders that allows residency in the West Bank.
Only "visitor's visas", occasionally w/ work permits, if approved, are issued,
b/c only visits are permitted -- not residency.)
Recent Israeli concern at passport controls focuses intently on stopping "illegal immigration" to Israel (more than on security, which it has largely under control).
BUT: Israel has made strict efforts, for decades, to prevent a Palestinian population increase thru immigration..
This has led to absurd reasons for denial of entry (visitor's) visas to spouses of Palestinians holding Israeli-issued Palestinian ID cards (which are the basis of residency in West Bank) -- such as, *It's suspected the wife wishes to reside with
her husband* (in the West Bank).
HaMoked (Center for the Defence of the Individual, an Israeli human rights organization "with the main aim of assisting Palestinians of the occupied territories") reported in JUNE 2018 on the huge problems facing such families, if one spouse does not have a Palestinian ID card...
HaMoked: "For many years, Israel has conducted an extremely restrictive policy regarding requests for family unification in the Occupied Territories (OPT)"...
and there is "little chance to regularize the foreign partner's residency in the West Bank".
Only *visits* are allowed.
"In the year 2000, following the outbreak of the Second Intifada, Israel froze its handling of such requests altogether:" HaMoked
"Following a series of petitions submitted by HaMoked to the High Court of Justice (HCJ) against the freeze, in 2008 the State announced it would examine 50,000 pending requests for family unification in the OPT, as part of a 'diplomatic gesture' to the Palestinian Authority"...
(So, normal family life, which is a one of the most basic + universal human rights, has become a Israeli "diplomatic gesture to the Palestinian Authority: -- to be granted or withheld according to changing policies...)
So, in 2008, Israel told the Israeli High Court of Justice that "it would examine 50,000 pending requests for family unification in the OPT (here, meaning the West Bank, as Israel argues that Gaza is not occupied), as part of a 'diplomatic gesture'..."
However, HaMoked reported in JUNE 2018, "Data received by HaMoked from various sources indicates that Israel approved approximately 35,000 requests as part of the gesture, but official figures on the matter were never received from the State"...…
(Somehow, Israel approved only 35,000 requests for *family unification* after promising to examine 50,000 applications, and everybody was otherwise so occupied between 2008 + mid-2018 that this was almost never mentioned).
(Another aspect of the *family unification* problem that's received some coverage involves Palest with (Israeli-issued) Palest ID cards who are married to Palest with (Israeli-issued) Israeli ID cards, especially but not only Palest permanent residents of East Jerusalem: ...
In these cases, authorization for the Palestinian ID card holder to get residency status in Israel has also been frozen -- they are also only "visiting" under explicit restricted conditions (no Israeli ID, so no bank accounts in Israel + not allowed to drive etc)
Visitors are not categorized as family + not as residents, and therefore have far fewer rights -- given Israel a much freer hand to deal with them summarily, without due process or much admistrative procedure, according to constantly changing (and ever-more-restrictive) policies
HaMoked status update, JUNE 2018:
"Thus the foreign partners of Palestinian residents of the OPT are forced to live in the West Bank by virtue of temporary visitor's permits,or w/ no legal status at all. This policy causes serious harm to the right of many Palest to family life"
"On January 11, 2018, HaMoked submitted a request under the Freedom of Information law to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT or @cogat_israel ) asking for data regarding family unification + visitor's permits to the OPT".
"On June 12, 2018, five months after the request was submitted, HaMoked received the State's response...(which) began with a strange comment by the Civil Administration Public Liaison Officer (CAPLO), according to which HaMoked's use of the term "family unification" ...
"...according to which HaMoked's use of the term 'family unification' in this context is inaccurate, because 'the request is in fact on the subject of applications to permit immigration to the area on the grounds of marriage'..."…
"Following this strange assertion, the CAPLO stated he's unable to provide data regarding the usage of the gesture from 2008 as it's 'extremely old', having ended a decade ago + the time are no longer in the same positions + there's no electronic documentation"
"It was further stated that new requests meeting the requirements of the gesture
are no longer received, the gesture is not active"...
"The CAPLO also stated that there is no available data regarding family unification requests submitted between 2010-2013, and that the data regarding later years is extremely partial"
"Regarding visitor's permits to the West Bank, it was stated that 32,598 permits were approved between 2010-2017, though no information was provided re: requests rejected during those years"...
"Finally, it was stated that these permits are granted solely for the purpose of visiting the West Bank + do not constitute permits to work there + "no visitor's permits are issued to foreign nationals who r married to Palestinian residents for purpose of residency in the area"..
HaMoked: "The CAPLO's response indicates a lack of understanding of the working procedure's in his own bureau, and a failure to document vital information regarding requests for family unification in the West Bank"...
"The CAPLO's response indicates a lack of understanding of the working procedure's in his own bureau + a failure to document vital information regarding requests for family unification in the West Bank".…
So, Israeli military authorities responsible for administering Israel's military occupation have not even bothered "to document vital information regarding requests for family unification" --
And the Palestinian Civilian Affairs office piles these requests up in warehouses...
Palestinian Civilian Affairs officials have indicated to Palestinian human rights groups that there may be around 500,000 such applications stored in warehouse, untransmitted to the Israeli military *Civil Administration* which refuses to receive the applications.
As these are *family unification* applications, involving spouses, or parents and children, submitted to the Israeli military *Civil Administration*, that means that at least 1 million Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation have had their lives severely impacted.
HaMoked is re-launching its efforts "on behalf of 20 families seeking the right to live together in the West Bank. We have already helped them file family unification applications + written to the military on their behalf. The next step is petitioning the High Court of Justice"..
And, HaMoked has launched a fund-raising appeal, with explanatory video +
text description -->…
Not unrelated (Kafkaesque reason for near-denial of entry (to Israel) + constantly changing unknown *Civil Administration* policies motivated by the most recent alarms concerning *illegal immigration*) reported earlier this week by Amira Hass =…
For example, the inter-relations between Israel's Supreme Court + Israel's Interior Ministry: Israel Supreme Court's ordered temporary suspicion of travel ban against Omar Barghouthi to be with his ill mother in Amman, but Israel's MoI failed to renew his Israeli travel document
Acc to report, Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian not born in Israel, does have Israeli residency with its relative privileges (now taken away) by virtue of his marriage to an Israeli citizen --…
Complicated and *Stifling*
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