Israel needs permission to make love with a Palestinian

Foreigners must inform the Israeli Ministry of Defense if they fall in love with a Palestinian citizen in the occupied West Bank. This is stated in a new regulation issued by the Ministry of Defense of Israel.
The law also states that if a foreigner marries a Palestinian, they must leave the West Bank after 27 months. This is part of the strict rules imposed on foreigners wishing to live or visit the West Bank.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Palestine and Israel say Israel has taken restrictions against foreigners to “a new level”. This rule will be effective from Monday.

Israel’s Ministry of Defense has issued a long list of restrictions on foreign nationals living in and traveling to the West Bank. The list states that Palestinians must notify Israeli authorities within 30 days of starting a relationship with someone. In addition, new restrictions have been imposed on Palestinian universities. It is said that 150 foreign students will get visa there. There will be 100 quota for foreign teachers. However, Israeli universities have no such restrictions.

Meanwhile, traders and aid organizations are saying that the restrictions imposed by Israel will have a major impact on them. As a result of the restrictions visa validity is being tightened. In many cases even volunteers in the West Bank cannot work for more than a few months.

The non-governmental organization Hamocode has petitioned the High Court against Israel’s restrictions. The organization’s executive director, Jessica Montel, said this was done to isolate Palestinian society from the outside world. Israel is making it more difficult for people to come and work, volunteer, invest, teach and study in Palestinian institutions.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in 1967 in the Middle East War. Now Kogat, a division of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, is in charge of administration in the Palestinian territories. Kogat’s 97-page guidelines were published last February. But the authorities took time to launch it. The document outlines the application process for foreign nationals to enter the Judea and Samaria region (the name of the West Bank). It mentions the interim peace accords of the 1990s. It requires Israeli approval for Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza to reside and for foreigners to travel.

The new rules, however, do not apply to Israel as well as the Palestinian-controlled part of the West Bank or Jewish settlements. In such cases the Israeli immigration authorities will be involved with the entry.

The Palestinian organization PLO says that Israel’s policy is discriminatory. It brought out the reality of one state and two different systems. Israeli authorities say the ban on travel to the region is necessary for security reasons.