Palestinians Married to Israeli Citizens Excluded From COVID Vaccine Pass Program

Proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID is necessary to gain admission to a range of public places, but Palestinians with legal residency in Israel cite several obstacles in receiving the so-called Green Pass

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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A security guard checks customers' Green Pass at a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, last month.
A security guard checks customers' Green Pass at a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, last month.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Palestinians who are married to Israeli citizens and are legal residents of Israel are unable to download the Health Ministry's Green Pass, which certifies that they are vaccinated against the coronavirus or recovered from the virus.

Many Palestinians reported difficulties in acquiring the Green Pass, even if they were vaccinated in Israel. The Health Ministry said in response that the matter is being dealt with, but affected Palestinians say the issue is persisting. 

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Health regulations require that members of the public show a proof of vaccination to gain admission to certain public places, including restaurants, mall food courts, museums, movie theaters and fitness centers. 

One of the affected Palestinians is Rim Shibat, who is a legal resident of Israel and is married to an Israeli. She has been living in the southern Israeli Bedouin town of Rahat for several years and has national medical coverage provided through a special plan.

She has received three doses of the coronavirus vaccine but has been unable to obtain a COVID certificate on the Health Ministry website. When she enters her personal details, she receives a message saying that it does not match system records.

“We feel humiliated and discriminated against after so many months of trying to issue a Green Pass so we can live like normal people in Israel,” Rim Shibat’s husband, Adam Ziadna, said.

They are being brushed off and told to contact the Palestinian Authority, “where my wife hasn’t lived since 2004,” he added. “The Health Ministry is washing its hands of us.”

After Shibat contacted the Association for Civil Rights in Israel on the matter, the staff there said that the organization had received similar complaints from other Palestinians who are legal residents of Israel. The organization has asked the Health Ministry to deal with the issue on an urgent basis.

Without Green Passes, Palestinian residents' access to employment and services could be jeapordized, according to ACRI lawyer Reut Shaer.

After again being approached by a Palestinian family that was unable to issue a Green Pass, Haaretz contacted the Health Ministry a second time but has not received a response.

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