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Israel passes law aimed at stripping Palestinians' al-Quds residency

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (photo by AFP)

The Israeli parliament has passed a law that enables the minister of interior to revoke the permanent residency status of any Palestinian in Jerusalem al-Quds on grounds of "breach of loyalty" to the Tel Aviv regime.

The law, passed by the Knesset on Wednesday, is also applicable to those whose statuses were obtained based on false information, and in cases in which "an individual committed a criminal act."

In accordance to the law, Israel's Interior Minister Aryeh Deri now has the power to revoke the residency documents of any Palestinian whom he chooses to see as a threat.

A senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) slammed the law as "extremely racist piece of legislation."

"By unethically stripping the residency of Palestinians from Jerusalem al-Quds and depriving the rights of those Palestinians to remain in their own city, the Israeli regime is acting in defiance of international law and is violating international human rights and humanitarian laws," Hanan Ashrawi said.

The Palestinian rights group Adalah stressed that the law is illegal under international humanitarian law.

"East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL) - like all other areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - and its Palestinian residents are a protected civilian population. It is therefore illegal under IHL to impose upon them an obligation of loyalty to the occupying power, let alone to deny them the permanent residency status on this basis," the group said in a statement.

In the past, Human Rights Watch has stressed that such residency revocations, which force Palestinians out of Jerusalem, "could amount to war crimes" in the eyes of the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

The law will most likely apply to East Jerusalem al-Quds residents who have protested against the Israeli occupation and its manner of treatment of Palestinians.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed a new wave of tension ever since US President Donald Trump announced his decision on December 6 last year to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

The dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis the city triggered demonstrations in the occupied territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

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