This is a letter from Dorothy Naor to members of ICRR (Israeli Committee for Right of Residency), at the bottom summary of their meeting.
Participants: Aharon (Arkee) Eviatar ,Rachel Giora, Yehuda Kupferman, Attorney Gabi Laski, Ruchama Marton, Dorothy Naor, Israel Naor, Yosefa Sartiel, Dana Ron, Snait Gissis.
Attached is Israel's summary of our meeting last night (Jan. 11,07). I would like to suggest one change in a decision that we took last night. Since it is likely that we will be able to have funds from abroad, instead of asking Akiva Eldar to do an article on the situation, we hire a proper hall and invite all the mediaforeign as well as Israelito a proper press conference to inform them of what is actually happening and to react to the letter. I will try to ascertain how much money will be forthcoming. The question is, does anyone object to this? Even if only a handful of reporters attend, it will still give us better coverage than we can get from one reporter. Also, I think that since Amira Hass has written so much about the situation, and feelingly, she might find it odd that we appeal to Akiva Eldar without first asking her.
One additional item. Below is a list of embassies that ICRR has met with, followed by ones that committee members have written to but have received no reply from. If Ive omitted any, please add.
As agreed last night, we should advise embassies that notwithstanding the December 28, 2006 letter from Maj. Gen. Mishlav to Dr. Erakat of major European countries, that nothing has actually changed. People continue to be denied entry and to be deported. The embassies that we should mainly contact are all embassies of major European countries, those of several South American countries, and those of the US, Britain, Canada, and Mexico. These should include embassies that we have not yet contacted or have had no responses from as well as embassies with which we have met. Committee members who have had contact with embassies should write to them. As for the remainder, pleasewe need everyone to take an embassy or two. This is not a job for a single person. Please volunteer, and notify the icrr list (firstname.lastname@example.org) which embassy you intend to write to. If you receive a response that you are not allowed to post, send it to me, and Ill post. Dont know why, but some have had that experience.
The block letter that weve used is in a second attachment. Its for your convenience to use, but I dont think that anyone stipulated that we have to use it. HOWEVER, do use the ICRR letterhead in all official
correspondence, please, but add your own contact information. The letterhead is in a 3rd attachment.
Embassies that we have met with:
1. November 15, 2006 Swedish Embassy
Meeting with Ms. Annika Ben David, Deputy Ambassador,
Embassy of Sweden, Tel Aviv.
The meeting lasted one hour. ICRR was represented by Yehuda Kupferman and Jacob Katriel. Adv.
2. November 16, 2006 British Embassy
Dorothy Naor had phone conversation with Adam Sambrook, 2nd Secretary in Political Section
3. November 16, 2006 French Embassy
Meeting with Mr. Christophe Bigot, First Counselor
and Mr. Gilles Pecassou First Secretary at the same Embassy.
Mr. Pecassou is in charge of the particulat dosssier of the entry and re-entry
issue at the diplomatic dept of this embassy.
The meeting lasted one hour and ten minutes..
ICRR was represented by Claude Rozenkovitz and Yehuda Kupferman and .
4. November 22, 2006
Royal Netherlands Embassy: Robert van Embden, Deputy Head of Mission
14 Abba Hillel Street, Ramat Gan, 52506
ICRR represented by Aharon Eviatar and Israel E. Naor
Duration of meet: 1 hour
5. November 29, 2006
Van Reidhead, 1st Secretary of the Political Section
at Israel and Dorothy Naors residence in Nof Yam
ICRR represented by Israel, Dorothy, and Aharon Eviatar
6. December 5, 2006
Meeting with Ambassador, Mr. Jon Allen
ICRR represented by Aharon Eviatar and Yosefa Sartiel
7. Dec 12, 2006 Finish Embassy
Meeting with the Finnish Ambassador, Mr. Kari Veijalainen, and the 1st Secretary of the Embassy Ms. Riika Eela
Finnish Embassy, 40 Einstein St., Tel Aviv
ICRR represented by Yehuda Kupferman and Israel E. Naor
Embassies contacted by ICRR but which did not respond
Spain [by Yossefa]
Italy [by Yossefa]
Brazil [3 times by Israel]
Germany [Rachel had a response stating something to the effect that since the Finnish Embassy had sent a protest representing all the EU block, there was no need to meet with ICRR] But it is important to try again, since the Germans now hold the EU Presidency.
Israeli Committee for Right of Residency
Report of ICRR Meeting
Meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2007
on Entry Requirements of Foreign Nationals into the West Bank
Participants: Aharon (Arkee) Eviatar ,Rachel Giora, Yehuda Kupferman,
Attorney Gabi Laski, Ruchama Marton, Dorothy Naor, Israel Naor, Yosefa Sartiel, Dana Ron, Snait Gissis.
The meeting, held at Prof. Kupfermans residence, focused on the letter
of Dec. 28, 2006 by Gen. Joseph Mishlav (COGAT) to Dr. Saeb Erakat on the entry of foreign nationals into the West Bank. The letter addresses changes in policy regarding the entry of foreign nationals from
countries maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel into the West Bank. To start with, Gen. Mishlavs letter advises that the changes in policy make it now possible for foreign nationals to enter the West Bank (insinuating that until now foreign nationals were not allowed to enter the West Bank).
The letter addresses the entry of foreign nationals into the West Bank
regardless of their original ethnicity implying that it applies to all foreign nationals regardless whether they were of Palestinian origin or not.
Attorney Gabi Laski whose initial comment was that she would need to
see a legally binding Hebrew version of the document to eliminate
misinterpretations, directed the discussion of the letter. The general reaction of the Group to the letter was that it was not comprehensive, was unclear, and left many questions unanswered.
The major change in policy appeared to be the requirement to obtain, a
priori, a military clearance (or, the military commanders consent as quoted) in addition to an entry permit issued by the Ministry of
The letter distinguishes among countries that maintain diplomatic
relations with Israel between countries that do not have visa
agreements with Israel and those that do.
In countries that do not have visa agreement, foreign nationals are
required to obtain a visa from the Ministry of Interior via the embassy or consulate at the country of origin to enter the West Bank through Israel.
Question: Where does the foreign national obtain the prior military
clearance? Does it imply that the foreign national applies abroad for a visa to enter Israel and after arriving in Israel applies for the
military clearance and the Ministrys permit to enter the West Bank?
In countries that have visa agreements, a foreign national is
recommended to appear at an embassy or consulate in his/her country for preliminary coordination. Without such coordination the foreign
national may be subject to some (!) checking at the border crossing.
Question: What does a preliminary coordination involve?
The letter mentions 7 groups eligible to enter the West Bank, including
spouses of local residents, workers of international representation offices in Israel, representatives of International Organizations
(I.O.), businessmen (etc), people holding working permits (issued by whom?), pilgrims, reporters, volunteers, lecturers, consultants, and others.
Comments: The list of seven eligible groups is very restrictive as it
excludes the following:
First degree family members, e.g. parents and children (this is more restrictive than the list of eligible visitors of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons)
Other relatives: grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews,
On Visa Renewal (Extension)
The letter states that visas can be extended by applying to the
Palestinian Population Registry Representative in Ramallah or,
exceptionally, by applying (in person?) to the representative of the Ministry of Interior at Beit El.
Applying at Ramallah imposes considerable hardships and loss of time to people living in other towns who have to cross interior checkpoints to get into Ramallah. Applying at Bet El is impossible for ethnic Palestinians with foreign passports.
A time frame should be stated within which visas will be extended. Otherwise the whole regulation becomes meaningless.
According to the letter, four groups (spouses, businessmen, investors,
holders of working permits) are eligible to be issued 1 year visas with a maximum staying time of 27 months but employees of International
Organizations (I.O.) are eligible for only 6-months visa extensions.
Question: Why the difference between the four groups and I.Os?
Considering that employees of IOs (e.g. the Red Cross, various UN
agencies, etc.) are long-term employees treating them as tourists is totally unreasonable.
No time frame is given for the implementation of stated regulations. Despite earlier (Nov. 2006) promises by Gen. Mishlav to post COGAT representatives at the Allenby Bridge and a few weeks later at Ben Gurion airport, to avoid difficulties nothing has changed since. At this point in time people who should be eligible to enter the West Bank according to the letter, are still being detained at ports of entry and deported and applications for visa extensions have been unsuccessful.
Following a meeting of the Palestinian Committee and formulation of its reaction to Gen.Mishlavs letter, Gabi Lasky will prepare a reply to Gen. Mishlav, jointly with the Palestinian Committees lawyer.
Dorothy will contact Akiva Eldar for an article in Haaretz on Gen. Mishlavs letter and our joint response.
ICRR individuals will acvise foreign embassies that notwithstanding the COGAT letter to Dr, Erakat, things remain as they were prior to that letter.