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Israel sentences Palestinian woman to 7 months in prison after year of house arrest

Dec. 1, 2016 6:05 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 20, 2016 6:18 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli magistrate court Thursday sentenced a Palestinian woman to seven months of prison and banned her from entering the city of Jerusalem for three years, following an 11 months stay under Israeli-imposed house arrest.

The Wadi Hilweh Information center, based in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, told Ma’an that the Israeli judge sentenced Shifa al-Shaludi to seven months of prison and a five-month suspended sentenced for attempting to assault an Israeli police officer and illegally residing in the city of Jerusalem.

Al-Shaludi holds a West Bank ID and has been residing in East Jerusalem with her husband and four children for 18 years under the “family reunification” status in Israel. However, Israeli forces cancelled her permit as a result of a security ban that would restrict her from entering Jerusalem for three years.

The center added that al-Shaludi was initially detained in October last year when Israeli soldiers raided her home in Silwan. Al-Shaludi spent 40 days in Israeli prison, but was released on bail and sentenced to house arrest during her legal proceedings.

She was presented to the court several times over the past months, while her sentence was officially issued against her on Thursday.

Al-Shaludi, who had already spent 11 months under house arrest, would turn herself in to prison, the center said

Meanwhile, al-Shaludi’s son, Fadi was also detained and had spent seven months under house arrest before being transferred to a prison for 100 days, while her other son Samer also spent seven months in prison. However, the reasons for their detentions remained unknown.

Israeli forces routinely ban Palestinians from Jerusalem for purported security reasons, as the some 3.5 million Palestinians residing in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip must rely on Israeli-issued permits to enter Jerusalem and Israel.

Israel’s permit regime has often times split up Palestinian families when several members hold different residency statuses, a system which Palestinian nonprofit Badil has said rests on “entirely arbitrary distinctions.”

The reunification of Palestinian families has also faced increasing challenges since 2003 when an ‘emergency’ provision to Israel’s Family Reunification Law, which grants automatic legal status to non-Israelis who marry Israeli citizens or residents, was adopted into Israeli law and has since been renewed every year.

Israel’s emergency “Citizenship and Entry into Israel” provision prohibits Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip from automatically obtaining legal status in Israel or East Jerusalem through family unions.

The law also applies to foreign nationals from Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and can apply to other nationalities originating from countries the Israeli government deems a security threat.

However, the law has primarily affected Palestinians with East Jerusalem residency status in Israel and Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up 20 percent of the Israeli population and regularly marry Palestinians from the occupied West Bank.

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