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EU opposes Israeli law on stripping residency rights from Palestinians in Jerusalem

East Jerusalem residents routinely have their homes demolished and building permits arbitrarily denied

March 10, 2018 at 12:03 pm

A Palestinian man searches through the rubble of his home in Silwan, East Jerusalem, after Israeli forces demolished it, on 26 August, 2013 [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]

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.”

Read: New Israel law targeting Palestinian residents of Jerusalem ‘illegal’ says rights groups

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.”