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Israeli report reveals demographic policy in Gaza

A report by two Israeli human rights organizations reveals that Israeli policy regarding the movement of Palestinians is motivated by political, not security, concerns.
Palestinians displays their I.D cards as they stand in line waiting to get their special safe passage cards in front of the safe passage office at Erez in the Gaza Strip November 2. On Tuesday Israel for the first time gave Palestinians who were previously not allowed to use the safe passage route for the security reasons, the special "safe passage cards" which will enable them to travel in buses between Gaza and West Bank under the guard of Israeli soldiers. aj/ Photo by Ahmed Jadallah.


One of the key obstacles to permanent Israeli control of the West Bank is the presence of Palestinians in it. Unable to physically move them or have them leave voluntarily, Israel has over the years deployed an administrative process that is called "transfer." The basic foundation of this racist policy is to have administrative policies that "encourage" Palestinians to voluntarily leave and make it very difficult for them to return.

Until the Palestinian National Authority was established in 1993, Israelis used a permit system to carry out this policy. When one left for work or school, a time-based permit was issued. If one overstayed one's permit, one risked forfeit of the right to return. Now that the Palestinian government issues passports, this practice has lost some of its impact. However, it still applies and as a result continues to subject Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, whose city residency can be revoked after an absence of more than seven years. The demographic reason behind the Israeli "transfer" policy is very clear, although rarely publicly declared. Right-wing Israeli minister Rahavam Zeeve is the exception, as he publicly pronounced his support for transfer.  

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