Palestinians born after 1948 and living in the Netherlands will be able to list their official birthplace as Palestine
The Dutch government has announced that it will recognise the occupied Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem as official birthplaces for Palestinians who were born in the occupied territories but live in the Netherlands.
The announcement was made by secretary of state Raymond Knops on Monday and will allow Palestinians who were born after May 15th 1948 to list the occupied territories as their places of birth .
A statement published by the interior ministry on Saturday said that the new law is in accordance with “the Dutch viewpoint that Israel has no sovereignty over these areas” .
According to Knops, the law will abide by the terms agreed upon in the failed Oslo Peace Accords that was signed in the 1990s as well as the various UN Security Council Resolutions.
The statement, however, also mentioned the Netherlands’ refusal to recognise Palestine as an independent state.
Prior to the announcement, Palestinians were only able to choose ‘Israel’ or ‘unknown’ when applying for Dutch passports. However, the decision was made after a Palestinian man sued the Dutch government at the European Court of Human Rights.
136 countries and the UN General Assembly have recognised Palestine as an independent state. However, the European Union has refused to recognise the occupied territories as a sovereign state.
On Friday, the Israeli military shot dead two Palestinian teenagers who were attending a demonstration in the Gaza Strip.
Hassan Shalabi, 14, and Hamza Ishtiwi,18, were protesting at the border fence between the occupied and blockaded territory and Israel when they were gunned down by Israeli soldiers. A further 17 Palestinian protestors were wounded in the attack .
Palestinians in Gaza have been staging weekly demonstrations at the border area since March 2018 and are demanding an end to the oppressive and stifling blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt.
In the occupied city of Hebron in the West Bank, Palestinians have been escorting children to school after Israel shut down the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TPIH) .
The withdrawal of international monitors has left Palestinians in the city feeling vulnerable to further attacks and violence from Israeli fighters and illegal settlers.
Palestinians argue that by shutting down the international mission, Israel is ridding the city of witnesses to its oppression and that Palestinians will now face more violence.
The Palestinian Youth Against Settlements organisation has begun escorting children to school and wear vests with the word ‘observer’ written in English, Arabic and Hebrew.
“Today we started a local campaign to document violations that children going to school are subject to in this area where there are always settlers and the occupation army”, said Issa Amro, a representative from the organisation.
“We will not replace the international observers, but we try as much as we can to make sure that the children go to school”  he added.