Saturday, June 16, 2012

Israel Disarms 1/4 Million Palestinian Residence Rights Between 1967 and 1994

Nearly a quarter of a million Palestinians - 100,000 residents of Gaza and 140,000 residents of the West Bank - have been deprived of their residency between 1967 and 1994, an Israeli daily reported Tuesday.

Thus, around 240,000 Palestinians who left the region were banned from returning, many of them students and young professionals, who later worked abroad to support their families, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

Data on Gaza residents' rights was released by Defense Ministry's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) this week, in response to a request for freedom-information submitted by Hamoked (individual Defenders Center).
According to COGAT data, 44,730 Gazans must lose their right to live because they have not been present in the area for seven years or more. 54,730 others lost their homes because they were not census in 1981, while the remaining 7,249 lost their right to live because they did not respond to the 1988 census.

15,000 people lost their homes are now 90 years or older, according to Haaretz's report.

As for residents of the West Bank who went abroad, they were asked to leave their identity cards at the border crossing. They received special permits valid for three years, according to Haaretz. The permit can be extended three times, each time for one year. But every Palestinian who does not return within six months after the permit ends will be stripped of his residence rights without prior notice.

The average population growth in the West Bank currently reaches 3 percent. This would be far higher if Israel did not implement the procedure for 27 years after the conquest of the territories there in 1967 and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.
The report published by Haaretz shows that the same procedure is currently being applied by the Israeli government to residents of East Jerusalem. A Palestinian who lives abroad for seven years or more loses his right to return to the holy city.

Because many of those who lost their right to live in Gaza and the West Bank are young students and professionals, their descendants today may exceed hundreds of thousands.
However, the number of Palestinians still recorded today has lost their right to live around 130,000.

More than 760,000 Palestinians - today estimated at 4.7 million with their offspring - fled or were expelled from their homes in the Arab-Israeli war accompanied by the establishment of a Jewish state in 1948.
IWD/The Truth Seeker Media

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