Israeli ‘Center of Life’ Policy Displaces Civilians, Violates International Law

Israel adopts a policy of house demolitions as a form of 'collective punishment' against the Palestinian people. (Photo: File)

The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center revealed that Israel revoked 287 female and male Jerusalemites resident permits. This includes seven children, between January 2013 and August 2017.

In a press statement, the Center explained that according to figures it obtained from the Ministry of the Interior in occupied Jerusalem, 17 Jerusalemites, including two children, lost their residency during the first eight months of this year.

The Center considers revoking permits to be a serious violation of rights.


According to the rights group, Israel is revoking the residencies using the pretext that they are enforcing the “center of life” policy.

Under this policy, Jerusalemites lose their residencies if the Ministry of the Interior considers that they have transferred their center of life outside Jerusalem.

The Ministry of the Interior is able to arbitrarily revoke residencies, as the definition of “center of life” is loose and vague.

In addition to the policy of “center of life,” Israel uses the revocation of residencies as a punitive tool against Jerusalemites who are accused of carrying out operations against Israeli targets. These punitive measures may affect the families of the perpetrators.

This procedure falls under the category of collective punishment which is prohibited by customary international humanitarian law, specifically under Article 40 of the 1907 Hague Convention relative to respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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