Israel is adept at creating new Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons, taking advantage of every opportunity to do so and exploiting temporary crises to promote permanent measures. Today it is using the recent violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) to introduce a dangerous new twist to its long-standing residency revocation policy to force Palestinians out of East Jerusalem.
This new concept –"breach of allegiance" to the state of Israel – is now being used to revoke the residency of Palestinian Jerusalemites, in addition to possible demolition of their family homes. The Israeli government is describing these actions as regular law enforcement measures, but analysis shows that they are part of its ongoing policies of forced displacement, with the aim of making longterm demographic changes and maintaining an overwhelming Jewish majority in Jerusalem.
The Israeli legal system and the military establishment have, since 1948, used several methods to minimize the number of Palestinians in the areas that fall under Israeli control, as I have described in an earlier Al-Shabaka policy brief (Decades of Displacing Palestinians: How Israel Does It.) These measures have included armed force, restrictions on the civil status of Palestinians, restrictions on building, and dispossession of property (especially real estate), among others forcing the majority of the Palestinian population into becoming refugees or internally displaced.