The Israeli policies regarding Palestinian residency denied thousands of Palestinians the right to live and travel freely from the West Bank to Gaza and vice versa, said a Human Rights Watch report on Sunday.
The report said, “The 90-page describes the arbitrary exclusion by the Israeli military of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians since 1967 and documents the impact that exclusion continues to have on individuals and families.”
It said that Israel should stop denying or cancelling the residency of Palestinians to the West Bank and Gaza, and end blanket bans on processing their applications for residency.
Middle East Director at Human Rights Watch, Sarah Whitson, said “Israel has never put forth any concrete security rationale for blanket policies that have made life a nightmare for Palestinians whom it considers unlawful residents in their own homes.”
The report stated that Israel’s military procedures in dealing with the Palestinians separated families and caused Palestinians to lose their source of living.
“Arbitrary policy changes have divided families: Israeli border officials have denied entry to the West Bank to Palestinians from Gaza, even if they had previously lived there or are close relatives of West Bank Palestinians, and to foreign-born spouses, and have denied re-entry to people living in the West Bank who have traveled abroad,” it said.
Whitson said: “Israel should allow Palestinians to live in their homes with their families, and to travel freely, not treat its control over where Palestinians can live as a political bargaining chip.”
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