In an article published in today’s 11 May 2011 online edition of Ha’aretz (see here) Akiva Eldar, the paper’s chief political columnist and editorial writer, relates how, between 1967 and 1994, many Palestinians traveling abroad were stripped of residency status, allegedly without warning.
Israel has used a covert procedure to cancel the residency status of 140,000 West Bank Palestinians between 1967 and 1994, the legal advisor for the Judea and Samaria Justice Ministry's office admits, in a new document obtained by Haaretz. The document was written after the Center for the Defense of the Individual filed a request under the Freedom of Information Law.
The document states that the procedure was used on Palestinian residents of the West Bank who traveled abroad between 1967 and 1994. From the occupation of the West Bank until the signing of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians who wished to travel abroad via Jordan were ordered to leave their ID cards at the Allenby Bridge border crossing.
He goes on to describe how this came about, and how the situation was discovered by the Center for the Defense of the Individual by pure chance, while it was looking into the case of a West Bank resident imprisoned in Israel.
The Center for the Defense of the Individual says that an unknown number of Gaza residents had lost residency rights in a similar manner, but that the exact number is still a secret which the Center is working to uncover.
Read Akiva Eldar’s article in full here.