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Effective annexation: Israel now stamping passports of West Bank visitors “Judea and Samaria only”

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  • Cort Greene
    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/effective-annexation-israel-now-stamping-passports-west-bank-visitors-judea-and Effective annexation: Israel
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2012
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      http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/effective-annexation-israel-now-stamping-passports-west-bank-visitors-judea-and

      Effective annexation: Israel now stamping passports of West Bank visitors
      �Judea and Samaria only�
      Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Sun, 12/02/2012 - 19:06

      new_permit-000.jpg<http://electronicintifada.net/sites/electronicintifada.net/files/new_permit-000.jpg>

      New Israeli stamp says �Judea & Samaria only� in reference to the occupied
      West Bank.
      (Rima Merriman <http://electronicintifada.net/people/rima-merriman>)

      Because the Palestinian Authority has no real control or sovereignty,
      anyone who wishes to go to the occupied West Bank can only do so with
      Israeli permission. This includes foreign visitors and thousands of
      Palestinians with third country passports who live or visit there.

      Even though many foreign nationals live and work in the West Bank, there is
      no such thing as a work permit that allows them to work for Palestinian
      institutions or companies based in the occupied West Bank, or simply to
      live there securely.

      So such people get Israeli �tourist� visas which they have to constantly
      renew and which are frequently arbitrarily denied.

      Hundreds of Palestine solidarity activists challenging Israel�s iron grip
      on who can enter and
      leave<http://electronicintifada.net/content/europes-airlines-enforce-israeli-travel-ban-activists-hoping-repair-palestinian-schools>
      the
      West Bank, have been expelled or denied
      entry<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/denial-entry> over
      the past year.

      It is not just ordinary people who are denied entry by the occupying
      regime, but even foreign government officials trying to meet with the
      Palestinian Authority<http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/palestinian-summit-scrapped-after-israel-bars-envoys-entry-to-west-bank-1.456122>
      .

      This is an Israeli abuse that has even been documented by US diplomatic
      missions <http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/10/09JERUSALEM1830.html> in the
      region.
      Stamping passports �Judea and Samaria�

      In the past, an Israeli visa meant that a foreign visitor or Palestinian
      with a foreign passport could roam throughout �Israel� and across the West
      Bank.

      But since at least 2009, Israel began stamping passports of visitors to the
      West Bank with the words �Palestinian Authority only,� meaning that the
      bearer could only move within the occupied West Bank.

      Now in a significant new development, Israel has begun stamping passports
      with the words �Judea & Samaria only.�

      old_permit-000.jpg<http://electronicintifada.net/sites/electronicintifada.net/files/old_permit-000.jpg>

      A previous stamp says �Palestinian Authority only.�
      (Rima Merriman <http://electronicintifada.net/people/rima-merriman>)

      The image directly above is from the passport of Rima
      Merriman<http://electronicintifada.net/people/rima-merriman>,
      a Palestinian-American university professor teaching American literature at
      Al Quds University. It shows the �Palestinian Authority only� stamp dated
      24 August 2012. The image at the very top of this article, with Merriman�s
      most recent entry on 26 November 2012, shows the new stamp with the words
      �Judea and Samaria only.�

      �Judea and Samaria� is the Jewish nationalist name Israel gives to the
      occupied West Bank to reinforce its bogus claims to the territory and to
      give them a veneer of historical and religious legitimacy.

      The latest change is further proof, if it were needed, that Israel is,
      without announcing it, implementing a racist one-state solution where there
      is no such thing as a Palestinian state and even the �Palestinian
      Authority� has been erased.
      Making life impossible for Palestinian institutions

      Merriman explained to me that she has twice been denied re-entry at the
      Allenby Bridge crossing from Jordan into the occupied West Bank. Each time
      she was told �that I was entering to work with no work visa� even though
      �there is no way for an international academic working at a Palestinian
      university to get a work permit.� She was later able to re-enter �through
      coordination between the PA Civil Affairs Office� and the Israeli
      occupation authorities, but with considerable loss of time and cost.

      Merriman also notes that Al Quds University is the only Palestinian
      university that Israel doesn�t recognize because it is the only one that
      has a presence in eastern occupied Jerusalem, which Israel has illegally
      annexed. Israel doesn�t recognize students� diplomas, making it even more
      difficult for them to find work.

      The explicitly racist and discriminatory nature of this Israeli entry
      regime can be seen in the fact that Jews of any nationality are not only
      granted entry whenever they wish, but are instantly granted Israeli
      citizenship, while Palestinians living or exiled abroad, even if born in
      Palestine, can only enter their own country as �visitors� on foreign
      passports and subject to the occupier�s whims.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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