Visitors to West Bank Must Inform Israel of any ‘Love Interests’ with Palestinians

Ben Gurion airport. (Photo: Rakoon, via Wikimedia Commons)

Foreigners who visit the occupied West Bank must inform Israel’s Defense Ministry if they fall in love with a Palestinian, according to new rules drafted by COGAT, the Israeli Defense Ministry body concerned with Palestinian civil affairs.

The new rules, which take effect from tomorrow, do not apply to those visiting the illegal Jewish settlements.

According to BBC News, if a couple decides to marry, they will be required to leave after 27 months to allow a cooling-off period of at least half a year.

Additionally, the rules stipulate that if the relationship starts after a foreigner arrives in the West Bank, the couple must notify Israeli authorities within 30 days of their engagement, wedding, or the start of cohabitation — “whichever occurs first.”

Jessica Montell, the executive director of the Israeli non-governmental organization HaMoked, was quoted by the BBC as saying that “this is about demographic engineering of Palestinian society and isolating Palestinian society from the outside world.”

“They make it much more difficult for people to come and work in Palestinian institutions, volunteer, invest, teach and study,” Montell added.


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