For many Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, issues of residency status are of the utmost importance, and affect every part of everyday life. The rules are many and confusing, and seemingly always changing.
This issue came to the fore recently, when a case that dealt with Palestinians’ Jerusalem residency status reached the Supreme Court of Israel. Often, residents receive residency status and must prove on an annual basis that their ‘center of life’ is in Jerusalem. Residency status is taken away from those who cannot produce this proof. After a 10-year process, the court ruled that no one who was born in Jerusalem and received an Israeli I.D. number could have their status stripped from them, and they do not need to prove ‘center of life’ in Jerusalem on an annual basis.
This new development created even more confusion. In response, Atta’a decided to have a live-streamed video session, with a lawyer who is a regular volunteer at Atta’a, on Facebook. The session included lots of questions and answers, moderated by Atta’a director Daud Alian.
The 1/2 hour session took place on Thursday, March 23. It focused on residency status and Ministry of Interior regulations, as well as other questions that came up.
This was the first time Atta’a had ever done anything like this, so we didn’t know what to expect. Indeed, it was a huge success! There were some 100 people who watched the video in real-time – considered a huge success in Facebook terms. 1,800 clicked on the Facebook post, 500 reacted, either ‘liking,’ sharing or commenting. Since that day there have been nearly 5,000 views of the video. It has reached nearly 20,000 people.
As a result, likes on the Atta’a Facebook page skyrocketed, as did clicks on the Atta’a web site. We’re already planning the next time we do it again.
Here’s the explanation that accompanied the video that was covered by the 0202 – A View from East Jerusalem Facebook page:
The Atta Center provided legal advice to residents of Jerusalem on matters of national insurance and the Ministry of the Interior and Health Services. They broadcasted a conversation with an attorney about residency and family reunification. This comes after a Supreme Court decision recognizing the special status of Jerusalem residents as “native-born residents” and non-immigrants.
0202 Editors’ Note:
For the previous post about the Supreme Court decision regarding residency, see:
To read more about the decision, including the status of residents of East Jerusalem, see the Haaretz article:
And here’s the video, in Arabic, from the Atta’a Facebook page (Click here for the original post in Arabic):
Congratulations to Atta’a for adding video to its toolbox of one-on-one consulting, seminars, lectures, through Facebook and its Internet site, to help East Jerusalem Palestinians navigate the quagmire of rights realization in East Jerusalem.
Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its continued support of Atta’a since its founding in 2004.