Jerusalem24 – The Center for the Defense of the Individual – HaMoked has filed a petition with the Supreme Court on behalf of 19 petitioners who are likely to be harmed as a result of newly established administrative procedures entitled: “Procedures for the entry and stay of foreigners in the West Bank.”
The petition calls for a radical change to the procedure that was initially supposed to come into force on 22 May, and to freeze the date of its entry into force until the court considers the required changes as described in the petition.
Jessica Montel, Director General of the Center for the Defense of the Individual – HaMoked, tells Jerusalem24: “It will not be the foreigners who will be affected by this new measure, but the Palestinian community as a whole. This measure limits the ability of the Palestinian community to benefit from its contact with the world. It also dictates severe restrictions on universities.”
Among the matters stipulated in the procedure is the imposition of strict restrictions on the duration of the visa. These provisions will cause severe harm to families in the West Bank, where one of the spouses holds a foreign passport. The new administrative procedure stipulates that visas granted to spouses will be granted for a period of three months only, and the possibility of extending them will be limited to special cases. The possibility of extending the visa is restricted to a total period of two years.
Moreover, the procedure prevents the spouses from living in a joint life, as a “transitional period” was set for a period of six months before the foreign spouse could submit a new entry application after leaving the West Bank. In addition, the administrative procedure states that Israel has the authority to approve requests to grant foreign spouses civil status and identity in the West Bank.
While the procedures have been postponed, they are now set to take effect on 5 September, after US President Joe Biden makes his visit to the region in mid-July. US authorities have been critical of the procedures.
In this episode of Wake Up Palestine, Jessica Montel talks about the legal battle in fighting the Israeli administrative procedures over the West Bank.