Israel waives an aberrant rule

Israel has dropped its controversial rule that foreigners visiting the occupied West Bank must report romantic ties to Palestinians within 30 days, according to the BBC.

The waived rule was supposed to go into effect on Monday. The revised rules on foreigners living in or wishing to visit the territory also remove a quota for university professors and students from abroad.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh described the rules as “racist”. Israel says the restrictions on travel to the West Bank are imposed for security reasons.

The US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, said he had an “aggressive dialogue” with the Israeli government and that he “remains concerned about the published protocols”. European diplomats also said they had raised their concerns in talks “at the highest level” with Israeli authorities.

The proceedings affect thousands of foreign spouses, as well as Palestinians living in the diaspora, businessmen, academics and volunteers.

A senior source at the Coordinator of Governmental Activities in the Palestinian Territories (Cogat), the unit within the Israeli Ministry of Defense responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, told the BBC that the rules were designed “for the convenience of foreigners” and would allow applications for longer term visas.

Source: Cotidianul RO by

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