Tuesday, March 6, 2007

East Jerusalem residents face 'Kafkaesque bureaucracy'

By Shahar Ilan, Haaretz Correspondent. March 3, 2007

Theoretically nothing is simpler than changing one's address with the Interior Ministry. But when it comes to Arabs who are residents of East Jerusalem with the status of permanent resident in Israel, the process can take years. What is worse, until they complete the painful procedure and changed their address, they cannot register their children in their identity card, and their children thus have no civil status in the interim. As a result, the children cannot receive National Insurance Institute child allowances or belong to a health maintenance organization. If the children reach the age of 18 without being registered, they will have no civil status for the rest of their life - unable to get work, a driver's license and liable at any moment for arrest. That is the fate of families who dare to leave East Jerusalem for another part of the country.

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