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Hundreds of Palestinians From Jerusalem Received Israeli Nationality

Hundreds of Palestinians From Jerusalem Received Israeli Nationality

Tuesday, 14 January, 2020 - 12:30
FILE PHOTO: A general view shows part of west Jerusalem December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo
Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat

In a first precedent since the occupation in 1967, the Israeli authorities granted citizenship to about 1,200 Palestinian citizens of occupied East Jerusalem, after a decision in the Supreme Court.

Of the total of 2,561 citizens who applied for this nationality, the Population Registration Department at the Israeli Ministry of Interior refused to grant citizenship to 1,361.

The Israeli occupation has made great efforts to persuade the Palestinians to obtain Israeli citizenship in the first years of the occupation, but residents rejected the offer out of their belief that these attempts were aimed at annexing occupied Jerusalem to Israel.

At the time, only 5 percent of the population obtained permanent citizenship. The occupation authorities granted them a blue identity card, distinguishing them from the rest of the residents of the occupied areas and giving them certain civil rights, such as freedom of movement in Israel and its international airport, health and social insurance, and the right to work in Israel, among others.

However, with the rise of the right movement to power in Israel, the Ministry began restricting the issuance of citizenship to the Palestinians and deployed all efforts to empty Jerusalem of its Arab population.

Although the number of Israeli citizenship applicants is limited, Israeli authorities have delayed the examination of their applications and rejected the majority of them.

This year, amid pressure by the Israeli High Court, the authorities decided to approve 1,200 citizenship requests.

The population of Jerusalem until the end of 2019 has reached around one million people, 63.2% of whom are Jews and 37.7% Arabs.

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