HRW: Stripping Palestinians Off Citizenship Maybe War Crime

A Human Rights Watch logo. (Photo: HRW website)

Israel is pushing Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents to leave their homes through a policy of systematic transfer that violates international law, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.

“Israel claims to treat Jerusalem as a unified city, but the reality is effectively one set of rules for Jews and another for Palestinians,” Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East director, said in a report released on Tuesday.

The more than 300,000 Palestinians there have permanent residency status but are not Israeli nationals.

While residents of occupied East Jerusalem are allowed to apply for citizenship, most do not as they view it as recognition of Israeli sovereignty.

Since 1967, 14,595 Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem have had their residence status revoked, effectively barring them from remaining in the city of their birth, the HRW report said, citing interior ministry figures.

“This constitutes forcible transfers when causing displacement to other parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and deportations when displacement takes place outside the country,” the report said.

“Deportation or forced transfers of any part of the population of an occupied territory could amount to war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

The majority of these revocations were due to spending periods of time out of the city, with Israel arguing their “center of life” was not in Jerusalem.

The report comes two days after an Israeli court decided to strip Alla Zayoud, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, of his citizenship after he carried out an attack.

(Aljazeera, HRW, PC, Social Media)

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