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Court orders re-examination of East Jerusalem resident's citizenship application: "Defective procedure" - Walla! News

2021-01-21T20:16:27.927Z

A resident of Kfar Akev has been waiting for more than four years for citizenship, even though she meets all the required criteria. She petitioned the court, was denied, and finally the judge accepted the appeal and ordered the state to reconsider the decision on the grounds that it "raises a difficulty." Population Authority: "The burden of proof is on the applicant."



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The court ordered to re-examine the citizenship application of an East Jerusalem resident: "Defective procedure"

A resident of Kfar Akev has been waiting for more than four years for citizenship, even though she meets all the required criteria.

She petitioned the court, was denied, and finally the judge accepted the appeal and ordered the state to reconsider the decision on the grounds that it "raises a difficulty." Population Authority: "The burden of proof is on the applicant."

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  • Population and Immigration Authority

  • East Jerusalem

  • Jerusalem

Maya Horodnichano

Thursday, 21 January 2021, 21:36

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The Jerusalem District Court ordered the Population and Immigration Authority to reconsider an application for citizenship of a resident of the east of the city, and criticized the manner in which the decision was made.

"The decision in the petitioner's case was made on the basis of partial considerations, without sufficient reasoning and in a flawed procedure," Judge Eli Abarbanel wrote in his ruling this week, adding expenses in the amount of NIS 4,000.



Like most East Jerusalem residents, 28-year-old Jana, who lives in the village of Akev, is not considered a citizen but a permanent resident, so in 2016 she applied for citizenship.

However, only after two years in which she managed to petition the High Court, get married and give birth, did her application



begin

.

At the beginning of the process, Janna was required to go through a long series of documents, including documents concerning a bank in the West Bank that was allegedly owned by her husband's family. Exists, and was therefore forced to explain that these documents are not relevant to her application.Despite the explanation, in December 2019, the Population Authority announced the rejection of Janna's application claiming that some of the documents had not been transferred.Then she filed an appeal but was also denied claiming that since Janna lived Together with her husband in the property of his family members in Kfar Akev, a question arises regarding her relationship with the family.

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Most residents of East Jerusalem are not considered citizens.

Queue for the Ministry of the Interior in Wadi Jouz (Photo: Walla! NEWS system, -)

Janna did not give up and filed a petition in the Jerusalem Administrative Court with the help of attorneys Adi Lustigman and Tamir Blank.

As part of the petition, she explained that she lives, works and even studied in Jerusalem, and therefore that she meets all the criteria for obtaining citizenship.

Despite its efforts, the state argued that the application was denied "in view of full non-cooperation and misrepresentation, for which it could not be determined that the petitioner lives in Israel and intends to settle in Israel," and because during a telephone interview with Jana her answers contradicted the affidavit and letter filed by her lawyers.



At this point Judge Abarbanel accepted the petition, and ordered the state to reconsider the request because he claimed the decision was "difficult".

According to him, "the decision does not strike a balance between all the circumstances of the case and the given evidence," and therefore "it seems that it was sufficient for the respondent that the petitioner did not invent the documents relating to Hama assets to outright reject her application."

Abarbanel added that "the hot owner's ownership of properties in the area does not raise a real suspicion that the petitioner and her husband live in them," and even rejected the determination that Janna did not cooperate in the investigation process, noting that the decision was based on a telephone interview.

"I'm a little optimistic"

Janna expresses cautious optimism alongside disappointment, this is because the judge did not limit in time the re-examination of her application "I am a bit optimistic. Now I have to re-prepare everything and hope they do not repeat the same things, it's all a matter of time".

According to her, they did not refer at all to the fact that she was born, raised and still works in Jerusalem, and to the fact that her father received citizenship as a child.

"I really thought I was already saying Khalas," she said, "insist on things I really don't understand."

Finally she added "I want to be optimistic, but also expect the bad things".



"This is another unfortunate case that illustrates the abuse of Jerusalem citizenship by the Population Authority," said Advocate Lustigman. "We hope that the Population Authority will address the harsh criticism based on the ruling, and that petitioner's application filed in 2016 will be approved without further ado.

At the same time, we regret that the court did not take another step and ordered the respondent to grant the petitioner the citizenship to which she is entitled by law and after meeting all the required conditions, under deportation for further examination of her case. "

"Insist on things I do not understand."

Women in East Jerusalem (Photo: Roni Kanfo)

Although the process of obtaining citizenship can sometimes take several years, the number of residents applying is increasing.

However, many of the applications were rejected, and in 2020, out of 2,084 applications submitted for processing by the Population and Immigration Authority, 1,150 of them were rejected, and close to 1,500 applications have not yet been processed.



According to the Population and Immigration Authority, examining a citizenship application takes an average of one year.

According to them, the examination procedure is complex, and as part of it it is necessary to examine the existence of a life center in Israel.

Therefore, when it comes to residents who own properties both in Israel and in the West Bank, the inspection becomes more complex than usual.



They further stated that "the burden of proof is on the applicant, when the tools available to the authority to examine the application are interviews and documents required to prove the claim. In this case the court did not determine that there is room for citizenship, but ordered the authority to re-examine the application."

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Source: walla

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