The EU announced on Friday its opposition to an Israeli law which gives the Interior Minister the power to strip residency rights from Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, it has been reported. The law was passed by the Knesset on Wednesday.
“The new law could make the residency status of Palestinians in East Jerusalem – a protected population under international humanitarian law – even more precarious than it already is today,” commented the EU’s External Action Service. “[It could also] be used to further compromise the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem, which would further undermine the prospects of a two-state solution.”
The Service confirmed that, “In line with international law, the European Union does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, including East Jerusalem, and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law.”
The law has been passed in the wake of a ruling by the Israeli High Court to overturn a 10-year-old decision to strip residency rights from three Palestinian MPs and a former minister from Jerusalem. The court gave the Knesset six months to find a way for the Interior Ministry to remove Palestinians’ residency rights.
The EU, said the External Action Service statement, promised to “closely monitor if and how this new law is applied to Palestinians in East Jerusalem.”