A 97-page Israeli ordinance detailing the new restrictions would allow foreign passport holders, including American Palestinian dual citizens who are romantically involved with West Bank Palestinian residents, to allow Israeli security officials to We require that you give us notice in writing. a special email address within 30 days of the relationship beginning).
“Relationship Commencement Date” shall be deemed to be the date of the engagement ceremony, the date of the wedding, or the date of cohabitation, whichever is earlier. Said.
The new restriction, which requires applicants to declare whether they own or inherit land in the West Bank, does not apply to Jewish settlements in the West Bank. His two-tiered legal structure in the region treats Jewish Israelis as citizens living under civil rule, while Palestinians are treated as combatants under military rule, with nighttime military raids, detentions, and ancestral lands. subject to a ban on visiting or accessing certain roads.
Palestinian rights advocates denounced the tougher procedures, updated on social media, as another example of Israel stripping Palestinians of their rights after 55 years of occupation.
Salem Barahmeh, executive director of Rabet, the digital platform of the Palestinian Public Diplomacy Institute, said: wrote on Twitter on Saturday“The other is that if we can’t be together in Palestine, [to] Go away and do so elsewhere. To maintain hegemony, it is to drive as many people out of Palestine as possible. ”
Fadi Quran, campaign director for activist group Avaaz, said: murmured The new rules say “love is dangerous” in the occupied West Bank.
Foreigners visiting the West Bank are already subject to rigorous screening. A Palestinian woman living in Germany and married to a German man worried that the rule would make it more difficult for her, her husband and future children to visit relatives in the West Bank. The woman spoke on condition of anonymity.
After learning about the new rules, the woman decided to take her new husband to the West Bank to meet his family in May, before it came into force.
Even then, officials at Jordanian border crossings advised Palestinian foreign spouses not to cross the border together and remove evidence of their relationship from mobile phones because Israeli authorities had turned them away. .
The couple removed their wedding rings, unlinked their Airbnb reservations, and deleted their WhatsApp conversations and photos together. Her husband told border guards that she was visiting the West Bank for tourism. Still, he faced intense questioning from the Israeli police.
A spokesman for COGAT, the Israeli military agency responsible for coordinating civil affairs with Palestinians, declined to comment on the new restrictions., However, it said the new version of the regulations is likely to be published on Sunday.
The Ordinance describes the “purpose of procedure” as a way to codify the norms that have been in place for many years for foreign passport holders entering the occupied territories. The goal is to “define, in accordance with policy and in coordination with the appropriate offices, the level of authority and method of processing applications from foreign nationals wishing to cross the border into the Judea and Samaria areas.” It refers to the biblical name Israel uses for the West Bank.
Implementation of the new restrictions has been repeatedly postponed by the Israeli High Court since it was first announced in February.
In June, Israeli human rights group HaMoked, along with 19 individuals, petitioned the High Court to suspend the new rules, which set “extreme restrictions on visa validity and extension” that prevent foreigners from working. claimed to be or have volunteered for more than a few months in a Palestinian institution and are prohibited from leaving the West Bank and returning during the visa period, possibly before applying for another visa after the visa has expired. to he must stay abroad for a year.
The rule also “denies thousands of Palestinian families the ability to live together uninterruptedly and have a normal family life,” HaMoked said. Said A June statement made it more difficult for foreign scholars to work at Palestinian universities.
New regulations allow 100 professors and 150 students with foreign passports to stay in the West Bank. This has hit Palestinian higher education institutions hard. They rely on academic collaboration and recruit hundreds of foreign passport-bearing students each year. More than 350 European university students and staff have studied or worked at Palestinian universities under the Erasmus programme., The number of EU student exchange programs in 2020 has increased from just 51 five years ago.
Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, proposed in July The development could also harm academic relations between Israel and Europe, he said.
“Because Israel itself has benefited greatly from Erasmus+, the committee believes that student access to the Palestinian University should be facilitated, not hindered,” Gabriel said. She added that EU officials had expressed concern to Israeli authorities “including at the highest level.”
Sam Bahor, an American-Palestinian economist, cited Israel’s High Court ruling delaying the implementation of the new rule as evidence of the rule’s illegality.
He said he responds to daily calls from Palestinian migrants around the world and worries that the new procedures could make future visits difficult or impossible. He said the protocol was “ridiculous” and would be “impossible to implement.”
But they have been carrying messages from Israel to Palestinians for decades to “stay away,” he said.