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Netanyahu: Revoke residency for East Jerusalem Arabs

The proposal was made at a Cabinet meeting.

By Ed Adamczyk
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Netanyahu: Revoke residency for East Jerusalem Arabs
Palestinians walk through an Israeli security fence in front of separation wall surrounding the Shuafat Refugee Camp in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed revocation of identifications cards of East Jerusalem residents, Israel's Channel 2 reported. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

JERUSALEM, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he's considering revoking residency status for Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, local media reported.

Israel's Channel 2 reported Sunday Netanyahu proposed withdrawing what is known as the "blue ID card" from about 230,000 Palestinians living in the eastern fringes of Jerusalem, outside the security barrier separating Israel from the West Bank. The revocation of the cards would strip Jerusalem residency from people living in the Shuafat refugee camp and adjacent communities.

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Netanyahu reportedly first proposed the idea two weeks ago during a closed Cabinet meeting.

The action would affect about 80,000 Arab residents, who are technically not Israeli citizens but nonetheless carry the identification card which provides them full residency status, medical insurance, monthly support payments and other social benefits.

The Israeli Cabinet affirmed two weeks ago that Israeli police could "impose a closure on..." centers of friction and incitement in Jerusalem" and "in accordance with security considerations." It came as violence involving Palestinians and Israelis, typically stabbings by Palestinians and followed with shootings by Israeli security forces, became a daily occurrence.

The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said the Israeli government's proposal would escalate violence, "the very inverse of what ought to be done."

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