More preventions, less permits | Machsomwatch
אורנית, מהצד הזה של הגדר

More preventions, less permits

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Friday, 8 September, 2023

In most areas of the West Bank,  the number of requests submitted to the Civil Administrationinfo-icon’s "Center for the Removal of Security Preventions" for the removal of Palestinians’ “blacklisted status” through MachsomWatch volunteer team has doubled in 2023 compared to 2022, while the number of removals achieved has decreased sharply. We submit the applications in the first person. For example: "I am 48 years old, married and the father of 7 children. I have no criminal or security record. I don't understand why I am denied security clearance...".
In addition to the excessive load on the volunteers, the team had to deal with a considerable slowdown in request processing at the Center for the Removal of Security Preventions.

There were further aggravations: the number of outright rejections of applications (rejected on the same day they were submitted to the GSS) increased dramatically and the phenomenon of familial prevention, termed “Operations Branch deterrence prevention”, emerged again.  The last are cases of people against whom there is no suspicion at all, but they share the same last name (which is common in some villages or an entire area) with a person who participated in the currently expanding “intifada of individuals.”

The Center for the Removal of Security Preventions operated chaotically, and did not meet the deadlines it had set for processing applications. The center also neglected to announce that it cancelled a June 2022 special amendment, under which a single person between the ages of 22 and 27, whose brother has an existing work permit, was given the option of obtaining a work permit in the construction industry. The cancellation only came to light after many requests
were not accepted for analysis, including two petitions to the administrative court.

"blacklisted" - General Security Prevented

According to the policy, the center must confirm the transfer of the request for analysis within three business days of its receipt, and must provide a positive or negative response within eight weeks at the most. However, the center did not meet this timeline on a routine basis. Applicants sometimes had to wait more than a month for confirmation of the transfer of the request for analysis and many months for an answer even if the answer was already known by the center.. This required our volunteer team to invest a lot of effort in monitoring and sending repeated reminders, and, of course, seriously hurt people who need a means of making a living and feeding their families. The lack of responses also delays the option of petitioning against the security prevention.

In recent years, the authorities released the online "Application of the Coordinator of Operations in the Territories (Almunasseq)”, which allows Palestinians to request various permits and view them via cell phone. They can also check prevention status , and submit requests for the removal of the security prevention. But there is no way to check if such a submitted request is actually analyzed. If the prevention is removed, you can see it in the application. But there is no information update on a rejection, even though the rejection date determines when a new application can be submitted a year later!

The procrastination practiced at the Center for the Removal of Security Preventions leaves the residents dangling without news for months. In their desperation to obtain movement and work permits, they turn to expensive lawyers, who may take advantage of their plight. Some of the applicants come to us and we resubmit the application through the MachsomWatch team. All this only to learn if their request, submitted by a lawyer or through the application, has been reviewed yet, or if the answer was negative after the review.

To this must be added the amount that workers must pay for periodic work permits - about 1000 NIS, the official price, and another 2000 NIS per month which goes to the pocket of the contractor who issues the permit.

Letters of complaint were sent to the Coordinator of the Operations in the Territories, to the Attorney General for the Territories, to the Head of the Civil Administrationinfo-icon, to the Commander of the Permit Center and to all the officials in the Center for the Removal of Security Preventions. The last of them was sent in August 2023. Below is a quote from the letter:

"I would like to complain about the non-functioning of the hotline for Prevention Removal in the Civil Administration... I, as part of a human rights organization that helps the Palestinians who want to remove the ban and follow up on the processing of their request, lead a continuous struggle to get answers for the applicants.

I sent many reminder letters in which I asked for answers and only after months and after many reminders do the responses finally come. People's livelihoods depend on these answers. The rejection and contempt implied by it for those people cannot be part of a proper administration.

The hotline in the administration, whose role is to deal with this issue, gives me the feeling that it is granting a special favor when it finally gives the answer, and not that this is its duty and the reason for its existence..."