The Bureaucracy of the Occupation
Refused entry to Israel: Prisoners of the Shabak, the police, and the Civil Administration
Since 1967 Israel has occupied the West Bank (known as the Occupied Palestinian Territories), which is inhabited by close to 3 million Palestinians. In order to impose itself on the occupied population, Israel has established, among other means, an intricate bureaucratic system: "the bureaucracy of occupation".
A Palestinian resident of the occupied territories who wishes to enter Israel, the settlements or the seam zone (the area between the Green Line and the separation wall/fence) for any reason – employment, business, to work their land trapped in the seam zone, travel to Jordan, obtain medical treatment in East Jerusalem or in Israel, visit relatives, visit an inmate in an Israeli prison, etc. – requires a permit (authorization to cross and be present in the seam zone). Tens of thousands of Palestinians from the occupied territories are subject to a sweeping “blacklisting,” one of the most serious aspects of the occupation regime. The blacklisting of Palestinians may be based on the claim they ostensibly represent a security threat (refusals by the Shabak); are being punished for entering Israeli to work without authorization or with forged documents (refusals by the police); because of various debts or being suspected of violating administrative regulations (prevented by the Civil Administration); or for innumerable other reasons.
A significant portion of the blacklistings has no justifiable basis!
One of the most important aspects of our teams’ work with respect to the complex bureaucracy of the machinery of occupation is providing reliable and accurate information to those blacklisted regarding the nature of the prohibition imposed on them and the official procedure required to appeal it. Hundreds of people contact us every month requesting we determine their situation and understand what documents they need to submit an official request to remove the prohibition (personal documents, employer documents) – according to the ever-changing regulations of the District Civil Liason (DCL) offices, the area in which they live or the arbitrary whims of military headquarters.