Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report in August indicating that the residencies of at least 14,595 Palestinians in East Jerusalem have been revoked since Israel captured the territory in 1967.
The report cited data collected by lawyers and rights groups from Israel’s Interior Ministry through freedom of information requests and court cases, according to the U.S. National Public Radio (NPR).
Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat doubted in an interview with NPR on December 4 that these data were true.
Palestinians constitute third the population in Jerusalem as they were given permanent residencies. However, those who left for more than seven years lost such residencies, Daniel Shenhar, an Israeli lawyer who represents Palestinians with expired residency rights, told NPR.
The data provided by Israel’s Interior Ministry to rights group Hamoked show that around 100 residencies are revoked annually from Palestinians in Eastern Jerusalem. In 2008, it reached an all-time compelling high of 4,577.
The permanent residency does not grant Palestinians the right to national health care, social security or the right to work and travel throughout Israel, according to NPR. Consequently, many resident Palestinians leave for work and education, returning after long years.
On December 6, U.S. President Donald Trump announced moving the embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing the city as the Israeli capital. Consequently, international objection and protests in the Palestinian territories erupted as Palestinians aim to make Eastern Jerusalem the capital of their future state. Clashes between protestors and Israeli security forces have thus far resulted in 10 deaths and over 2,000 injuries.
The Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly on the U.S. decision, called for by Turkey and Yemen, took place on December 20. This was three days after the United States vetoed the Egyptian-drafted resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) objecting to the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Palestinian officials vowed to take all possible measures internationally after the veto on December 17 as the decision breaches all former United Nations (UN) resolutions on Israel and Palestinian territories.
The UN draft resolution, approved by the remaining 14 UNSC Member States reads, “That any decisions and actions, which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem, have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
On December 8, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cancelled his meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. On December 9, Egypt’s Grand Iman Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayyeb and Pope Tawadros II, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, cancelled their scheduled meetings with Pence during his upcoming visit. About 3,000 people in Bangladesh gathered in front of the main mosque in the capital, Dhaka, to protest against Trump’s decision.
On December 10, teargas was used to disperse protestors outside the U.S. Embassy in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. On December 19, Pence canceled his Middle East tour which was due to start on December 20 from Egypt.
On December 20, The U.S. permanent envoy to the UN Nikki Haley tweeted: “On Thursday, there will be a vote criticizing our choice. The U.S. will be taking names,” referring to the 193-nation assembly. Trump later threatened of cutting aid to countries voting in favor of the draft resolution condemning his decision in UNGA.