Israeli authorities did not immediately respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment on the matter.

In March, Yisrael Katz, an Israeli member of the Knesset, submitted a bill to allow the state to deport family members of Palestinian attackers to Gaza. The bill has not been voted on yet. Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, has previously suggested that such a policy would contravene international law.

At the same time, human rights groups say that forced transfers of Palestinians from Jerusalem have been ongoing for almost 50 years.

“We have three groups of people who are forced out: those who have their ID cards withdrawn, those whose family unification applications were rejected, and those who settled in Jerusalem before 1987, when it was easy to enter the city, but who were never given ID or residency cards,” said Ziyad Hammouri, director of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights.

Hammouri’s organisation has traced more than 14,900 cases where Israeli identity cards were revoked from Palestinians since the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem began.

The current policy of forced transfer amounts to a “demographic war” against Palestinians in Jerusalem, Hammouri added, referring to the Zionist policy of maintaining a Jewish population majority within Israel since 1947.

For the family of Khaled Abu Arafeh, adjusting to their new life in the occupied West Bank has been a long and painful process.

In 2006, after being appointed minister of Jerusalem affairs in the new Palestinian government, he was told by Israeli authorities to quit his new role or give up his Jerusalem residency.

Abu Arafeh refused and four years later, having spent part of that time in prison and challenging the decision in the Israeli court system, Abu Arafeh was deported to the West Bank. In court, the Israeli prosecutor argued that Abu Arafeh and the lawmakers’ alleged association with the Hamas movement meant that they were not loyal to the state of Israel. He now lives with his family in a suburb of al-Bireh, close to Ramallah.

Source: Israel escalates forced transfer of Palestinians – AJE News

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