Carol X Weakley 10/20/2006 03:55:39 PM From DB/Inbox: Carol X Weakley
UNCLAS TEL AVIV 04153
INFO: PD IMO RES ECON DCM RSO CONS DAO AMB AID ADM
CLEARED: ECON/C:WWEINSTEIN (INFO); AID:DHARDEN (INFO)
RR RUEHC RUEHXK RUEHBS
DE RUEHTV #4153 2921515
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191515Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7081
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS TEL AVIV 004153
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KWBG KPAL EU PBTS PHUM IS
SUBJECT: EU DEMARCHE ON GOI ENTRY PROCEDURES TO WB/G
1. The Embassy of Finland, in its EU Presidency capacity, shared
with post the aide-memoire that the EU (plus Norway and Switzerland)
plans to share with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs during
the week of October 23.
Since spring 2006, Israeli authorities have been more strictly
enforcing entry procedures towards foreign nationals whose final
destination is in the Palestinian Territories. As a result, hundreds
of EU member state citizens have been refused entry.
The new policy has severely hindered the movement of three
categories of EU citizens, in particular:
-- EU nationals married to Palestinians living in the Palestinian
Territories (many of these EU citizens have lived in the Palestinian
Territories for several years).
-- EU nationals of Palestinian origin
-- EU nationals working for NGOs
In several cases the EU Embassies, Consulates General and
Representative Offices have also received information about rude and
aggressive treatment of these EU citizens both at border crossings
into Israel and the Occupied Territories and at the Israeli
checkpoints in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Until last spring, these people visited and/or resided in the West
Bank or Gaza mainly with 90 day entry permits. The EU is aware that
this category of entry should normally be used by tourists only. The
problem is, however, that for the above mentioned people the 90 day
visa has de facto been the only entry permit available, as the
Israeli authorities have since 2000 been willing to consider
requests for family reunification and long stay visa only in
Some EU member state Embassies and capitals have requested more
information about the new rules from the Israeli authorities and
have carried out demarches on this issue. So far the answer of the
Israeli authorities to these inquiries has been threefold: 1).
Israel has not changed its policy or rules of entry, but it has
started to interpret the rules in a stricter way; 2). Israel will
speak of this issue only on a case-by-case basis; and 3). Foreign
nationals should apply for a permanent resident status at the
offices of the Palestinian Authority.
All countries have the right to determine their arrival procedures,
border control and security measures, bearing in mind the demands of
international law and commonly accepted practices. It is, however, a
fundamental principle that other countries - and citizens of
friendly countries travelling with a rightful purpose - are well
informed of these rules and requirements. Also the principle of
reciprocity is usually applied.
This issue should be solved without delay. Rules and procedures
should be public and easily available in written form to people
planning to visit Israel and/or the Palestinian Territories.
Detailed clarification is needed in writing of the following aspects
-- The exact procedures foreign nationals need to go through in
order to live, visit or work in the Palestinian Territories.
-- The Israeli policy concerning the entry of the following persons
into Israel and the Palestinian Territories: 1). foreign nationals
holding a Palestinian ID; and 2). foreign nationals married or
related to a holder of a Palestinian ID.
-- Detailed contact information of the competent Israeli authorities
(24 hour duty) in cases of problems.
-- Possibilities and procedure to appeal in cases where a decision
has already been given.
-- What are the planned measures for creating a solid and
transparent legal basis for the aforementioned visits and stays of
EU nationals in the Palestinian territories.