Netherlands Recognizes Gaza, West Bank as Official Birthplaces for Palestinians

Palestinians living in the Netherlands who were born after 1948 will now be allowed to register the Strip and the West Bank as their place of birth, instead of Israel or unknown

The Binnenhof complex in the Hague, home to the Dutch parliament.

Shai Simpson-Baikie writes in Haaretz, “Palestinians living in the Netherlands will soon be allowed to register Gaza and the West Bank as their official place of birth, Dutch State Secretary Raymond Knops told the House of Representatives in The Hague on Friday. The Netherlands, which does not recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, currently gives Palestinians two options when specifying their birthplace at the Dutch civil registry – Israel or unknown. Knops, however, wrote in a letter to the House of Representatives that he intends to add “the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem” to a list of states used by the civil registry.”

“The new category will be available to Palestinians born after May 15, 1948, the day the British Mandate was officially terminated and Israel became a state. In the letter, Knops noted that the new category is in accordance with “the Dutch viewpoint that Israel has no sovereignty over these areas,” as well as the Netherlands’ refusal to recognize Palestine as a state. Knops added that the category was named based on the Oslo Accords and United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

“While the UN General Assembly and at least 136 countries have recognized Palestine as a sovereign state, most of the European Union has refrained from doing so until one is declared in the framework of a peace agreement with Israel.”(more…)  

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