Despite statements by the Israeli government in May 1997 that it considers easing its policy of revocing ID cards of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem who do not succeed to document permanent domicile in the city, this Israeli policy has continued unchanged in 1998. According to the latest information released by the Ministry's spokesperson Tova Elinson on September 14 to Ha'aretz journalist Amira Hass, the number of ID cards "found to have expired" between January - March 1998 is 176 with 500 cases still under investigation. The Ministry has so far abstained from responding to requests for more updated 1998 data.
Jerusalem ID Card Confiscation 1994 - 1998: Official Israeli Data
1998 176 (1-3/1998; 500 cases still under investigation)
The number of Palestinian thus evicted from Jerusalem continues to rise steadily since the massive implementation of the Israeli policy in 1996; it reached 1,471 cases (1,471 families, i.e. roughly 6,800 individuals) by March 1998.
The continuation of this gross violation of Palestinian human rights is confirmed also by the findings of a new report entitled "The Quiet Deportation Continues" and released by the two Israeli human rights organizations B'tselem and Hamoked on 15 September 1998. The Interior Ministry's response to this report includes no substantial arguments which could refute the findings of Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations. In its response, the Ministry's Press and Public Relations Office also states that,
|"... we want to point out that the Minister of the Interior recently directed that cases of East Jerusalem residents who move to neighborhoods near Jerusalem be examined flexibly, and that the entirety of the connection of those residents to Jerusalem be considered."|
In the light of Israel's aggressive and expansionist policies against Jerusalem's Palestinians, all official promises of this kind must be considered empty talk.