B’Tselem: Residency and Social Security Benefits are not a Favor Israel can Bestow and Withdraw at Will

JERUSALEM, November 24, 2014 (WAFA) – The Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem said on Sunday that residency status and social security benefits are not a favor or boon granted by the Israeli authorities to Palestinian residents.

The statement came to comment on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement of a plan to promote a bill which would revoke the residency status and social security benefits of individuals who commit attacks on Israeli targets or other serious offenses out of nationalistic motives.

“Criminal activity is addressed by the justice system, which is in place exactly for this purpose. Authorities may not take any measures against the innocent family members of individuals have broken the law,” it added.

“It is Israel’s fundamental obligation toward all individuals living in its territory, be they citizens or permanent residents. As long as Israel considers East Jerusalem part of the country, it cannot eschew these obligations, and they remain in effect even when citizens or residents break the law,” said B’Tselem.

Though the scope of the bill remains unclear, status and benefits would be denied both to the perpetrators themselves and their families.

It said that unlike Jewish immigrants who chose to relocate to Israel and seek permanent citizenship, the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem “never chose to live in Israel. Instead, it is Israel that chose to enter the area they live in, occupy it and annex both the area and its residents.”