Silwan activist spearheads campaign against Jerusalem Municipality campaign of "Judaization"
Wadi Hilweh activist Mahmoud Qaraeen has started a petition against the Jerusalem Municipality's legal authority to revoke residency rights of Palestinian citizens of the city. The policy is aimed at decreasing the Palestinian population in Jerusalem to create a Jewish majority. Qaraeen, speaking on behalf of tens of thousands of other Palestinian Jerusalemites, has denounced the law passed by the Israeli Interior Ministry as a violation of Palestinian residents' basic human rights. Under the new law, Jerusalemites will be required to prove their residence inside the municipal limits of the city. If unable to provide evidence satisfactory to the Municipality, including both proof of address and places of work, education etc inside Jerusalem, they may be stripped of their rights to exist in the city. Recent notable enactments of the law include several deputies of the Palestinian Legislative Council being stripped of their residence permits. Such policies have been denounced as being in direct contradiction to international law, in addition to agreements signed by the Israeli government with the Palestinian Authority. This demographic campaign, which includes both driving out native Palestinian residents from Jerusalem and expropriating Palestinian land, has drawn harsh international criticism for Israel. Israel commenced the campaign immediately the annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967, with the rate of what has been dubbed "Judaization" ramped up in recent years. Qaraeen states that a total of 4,577 Palestinian Jerusalemites have already had their residency revoked in the year 2008.