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The Magic Word ‘Humanitarian’ That Quiets Israelis' Consciences

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Even before some of the participants in the ongoing protest vigil in El Bireh were born, or when they were only children with no idea of the Israeli demographic manipulation, I wrote about the object of their protest: the prevention of Palestinian family reunification.

In other words, I wrote about the numerous obstacles Israel puts in the way of foreign national spouses of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to be granted residency status in the territories occupied in 1967.

About 30 years have passed. Tens of thousands of partners, citizens or residents of other countries have received residency status thanks to the legal battle waged by Hamoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual, and, after 1995, also according to a specific article in the Oslo Accords. But since 2000 Israel, in its arrogant and authoritarian manner, has stopped the process that should have guaranteed residency status every year for about 4,000 people (most of them Palestinians), in the context of family reunification.

I have to dwell on the subject again and again because Israelis have so little interest in it, and because the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the Shin Bet security service don’t bring it up in the briefings they organize for the Israeli media, and which determine the “proper agenda” regarding the Palestinian situation.

The office of the government coordinator does not decide policy, it only implements it, but because it is a unit of the Defense Ministry, its senior officials and officers are well aware of what is going on. Its representatives explain that the process........

© Haaretz

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