Israel removes controversial rules for West Bank’s foreign visitors to report relationships with Palestinians
According to the draft guidelines, a foreigner married to a Palestinian, planning on marrying one, or entering a relationship with one, must let the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories know before arriving at the West Bank.
Israel issued revised guidelines on foreigners’ entry into the occupied West Bank on Sunday, after removing controversial clauses that require foreign visitors to the territory to notify Israeli authorities if they have a romantic relationship with a Palestinian.
The updated guidelines will take effect on Oct. 20, the Times of Israel reported on Sunday.
The latest guidelines dropped a requirement stipulating that a foreigner who starts a relationship with a West Bank resident after entering the territory must notify Israeli authorities within 30 days and submit an application to the Palestinian Authority for formalizing the status within 90 days, or their Israeli permits will expire and the foreigner would be obliged to leave the country immediately.
A draft of the guidelines was released in February by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli Defense Ministry body responsible for Palestinian civil affairs.
The draft guidelines were set to take effect in July, but were delayed by petitions to the Supreme Court.
According to the draft guidelines, a foreigner married to a Palestinian, planning on marrying one, or entering a relationship with one, must let the COGAT know before arriving at the West Bank.
The revised guidelines also dropped the clause to tighten annual quotas on foreign lecturers and students visiting Palestinian universities, originally set at 100 teachers and 150 students.