Aug. 4, 2015
Reuters takes a closer look at the growing number of Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem breaking taboos in seeking and obtaining Israeli citizenship.
In part it reflects a loss of hope that an independent Palestinian state will ever emerge. But it also reflects a hard-headed pragmatism – an acknowledgement that having Israeli citizenship will make it easier to get or change jobs, buy or move house, travel abroad and receive access to services.
Israeli officials are reluctant to confirm figures, but data obtained by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies indicates a jump over the past decade, rising from 114 applications in 2003 to between 800 and 1,000 a year now, around half of which are successful. On top of that, hundreds have made inquiries before the formal application process begins.
Interior Ministry figures obtained by Reuters show there were 1,434 applications in 2012-13, of which 189 were approved, 1,061 are still being processed and 169 were rejected. The remainder are in limbo.