Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Accidental Immigrant

No Rights at Home


"No rights at home

In December 1995 the Ministry of Interior began implementing a systematic policy of revoking the Jerusalem residency status of thousands of Palestinians who were born in the city, but for whom, according to the ministry, Jerusalem was no longer "the center of their lives"--and therefore their permanent residency permit had "expired." This applied to all those who lived abroad in the past or at that time, as well as those Palestinians who lived in neighborhoods just outside Jerusalem's municipal boundary. There was no official declaration of this policy. It only manifested itself as such when an increasing number of people discovered at the border crossings or at the offices of the Ministry of Interior that they were no longer defined as residents, and not as Jerusalemites, and were being stripped of rights in their own town."

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