Since 1967, the state has relegated Palestinian Jerusalemites to the precarious, revocable status of “permanent resident,” despite the fact that they are indigenous to Jerusalem. (Permanent residency is a status usually reserved for people who come from abroad and resettle in a new country.) Revocation of residency is a very real threat for Palestinians who live in Jerusalem, since the state can do it for increasingly tenuous reasons (see Precarious Status). In fact, since 1967, Israel has revoked the residency status of nearly 15,000 Palestinians of Jerusalem.1 These numbers do not tell the whole story, however, because revocation of an ID also automatically means revocation of status for any minor children listed in a parent’s ID (children are listed in their parents’ IDs until age 16).
When residency is revoked, if a person has no other status in another country, they are rendered stateless and they literally have no legal status anywhere. But what does this actually mean in terms of day-to-day living and the potential for creating a meaningful life?