A fresh Israeli entry and traveling program for the West Bank raised concerns over potential espionage attempts in the future.
A forthcoming Israeli admission and stay policy for foreigners has outraged Palestinian law professionals, intellectuals, and digital rights activists. These groups argue that the new policy intensifies mobility regulations and adds constraints to an already complex structure.
The Procedure for Foreigners’ Entry and Residence in Judea and Samaria Area Law, will supersede the present four-page legislation with 97 pages. The West Bank is referred to by the Israeli administration as Judea and Samaria.
According to some law scholars, the more extensive entrance regulations is an attempt to limit and trace foreign citizens’ trip to the region. They also intend to keep track of population expansion and territorial disputes by Palestinians with foreign passports.
New restrictions had their public announcement two months ago but garnered little notice then. In less than a month, they will take effect.
The laws refer to access to “Judea and Samaria” as if the West Bank were an inseparable part of Israel. They also let people to enter Israel for “transit” to the West Bank.
The regulations additionally complicate and formalize foreigner admission prohibitions. Those who want to travel, trade, rejoin with their Palestinian relatives, and serve in the West Bank face further limitations. The list includes educators or teachers at Palestinian academic system .
Palestinians who have a foreign passport must share details on an application for approval ahead to move in order to get a visa. It contains the list and national ID numbers of “first-degree” relations and other non-family members with whom they may live or meet.
Private details about travelers, relatives, and contacts is likely to aide Israel’s vast surveillance and data collecting initiatives.
West Bank Surveillance
“It’s a surveillance exercise. With the new policy, Israeli authorities want to map out the social circles and property of Palestinians who live abroad with foreign passports,” these remarks by Palestine national and analyst refers to a serious concern in Palestinians over Israel’s main purpose behind the initiative.
Palestinian people holding non-local passports must also declare if they possess land in the West Bank or expect an inheritance. There are no explanations as to why this data is necessary to fulfill an entrance application.
Travelers intending to visit relatives in the West Bank or wishing entry to settlements are separate under the new arrangement. Only individuals meeting Palestinians must acquire permission and furnish the relevant (or irrelevant) information prior to their trips.
The Israeli legislative document claims in part of the text that the purpose is to “define the levels of authority and the manner of processing from foreigners who wish to enter the Judea and Samaria area.” Israel’s authorities emphasize that implementing the restrictions is vital to the future security of the West Bank.
Limitations on academic life apply to academics who desire to do education program at any college in the West Bank. Only up to 150 international students will have permission to study in Palestinian universities, having faced filters through pre-approved fields.
“Applications for a permit under this section will be approved if it is proven – to the satisfaction of the authorized COGAT official, that the lecturer contributes significantly to academic learning,” part of the controversial document reads.
Following decades of futile violence and bloodshed, Israel seems to have resolved to adopt new approaches. The fresh silent policy may aide Israel with its plans while taking less international attention for its illegal nature.