Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Israel Warned about Hassling American Citizens

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Israel Warned about Hassling American Citizens

Article excerpt

Israel Warned About Hassling American Citizens

Journalists estimate that of the 160 thousand Palestinians in East Jerusalem, four to seven thousand are American citizens. Recent Israeli efforts to refuse to renew Jerusalem residency permits for Palestinians with dual citizenship unless the holder gives up his American citizenship were stymied by a rare U.S. protest to the Israeli minister of interior.

Under U.S. law, no American can be coerced to give up his citizenship. Only by formally appearing before a U.S. consular officer and affirming that he is requesting cancellation of his own free will, can an American lose his citizenship.

American officials were alerted to the problem in December when several Palestinian-American residents of Jerusalem sought help from the Consulate General there. The Palestinian Americans reported that Israeli officials were demanding they give up their American citizenship as a condition for renewal of their residency permits for Jerusalem.

The Consulate General in Jerusalem, which handles American contacts with the Palestinian Authority and is still independent of the Embassy in Tel Aviv, placed an advertisement in the Jerusalem Post calling on all Americans to report any such Israeli demands. …

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