East Jerusalem Residents Will Be Able to Renew Travel Documents at Any Other Interior Ministry Offices

Move will shorten long waits, but will not apply to everyone or most other services

A line forming outside the Population, Immigration and Border Authority office in East Jerusalem, May 2017.
Emil salman

Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem will be allowed to extend the validity of their laissez passer travel documents at any office of the Interior Ministry’s Population Authority, and not only at the East Jerusalem office, as in the past.

Until now, East Jerusalem residents could only receive such services at the Wadi Joz office in East Jerusalem, and were denied service in all other Population Registry offices. The wait at the office in East Jerusalem has grown in recent months and people have waited for hours even for the simplest services.

The Knesset Interior and Environment Committee discussed the issue. At the same time, the nonprofit WAC-MAAN, the Workers Advice Center, and the HaMoked human rights group petitioned the High Court of Justice on the matter.

Providing these services in other ministry offices is not expected to completely solve the problem because such services will only be provided to those who have been issued a biometric laissez passer document in recent years. Everyone else will still have to apply at the East Jerusalem branch. In addition, other services provided by the Interior Ministry, such as registering births, changing addresses and receiving a first travel document will still have to be done at the East Jerusalem office.