2. In the future, Israel will grant family reunification to 5,000 persons (i.e. 2,000 applications) annually. This annual quota will be divided among these groups:
a) married non-resident spouses of residents,
b) special humanitarian cases,
c) applications in the authorities’ interest;
Applications must be submitted to the civil administrations while the relative concerned is abroad.
The news of the Oslo-Washington Agreement and the rumors and the feeling of uncertainty created by the sudden moves on the diplomatic level demanded a rapid re-evaluation and re-organization of grass-roots human rights efforts.
The COALITION, a coordinating forum of local human rights organizations active in support of Palestinian residency rights decided to meet the challenge and to focus on the following tasks:
1. To monitor the implementation of all new Israeli decisions regarding family reunification.
2. To continue their efforts (lobbying, high court petitions) to abolish of laws and regulations which discriminate against the Palestinians right to live in their homeland.
3. The majority of the organizations represented in the COALITION have taken up work as expert consultants to the Palestinian team in the Refugee Working Group, mainly out of concern over the absence of permanent legal and human rights experts in this team. During meetings with Dr. Salim Tamari, many COALITION members criticized the lack of a Palestinian legal advisor and offered to provide working papers and memoranda. Only B’tselem suggested that the COALITION should submit its suggestions and findings to both the Israeli and the Palestinian negotiating team.
4. Although some of the current problems will probably be resolved as soon as the new Palestinian authority takes control over internal population affairs (e.g. people overstaying their visit permits will probably not be deported), the COALITION will face new issues for lobbying and campaigning, such as problems linked to the return of the 1967 refugees and to the inclusion of the Palestinian living in Jerusalem in all new agreements regarding residency.