About RTE (Right to Enter)

Our Mission

Right to Enter is a grassroots campaign defending the rights of access, movement and residency in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory.

Who we are

We are a volunteer group of individuals and families affected by the current Israeli occupation authorities policy that denies entry to foreign passport holders to the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) via the Israeli unilaterally controlled international border crossings to the oPt.

The Right to Enter Campaign emerged in response to an escalation of entry denials and restrictions in 2006. As a grassroots campaign we have concentrated our efforts on monitoring developments on these issues; documenting their impact on directly affected persons, families, service institutions and businesses; clarifying their broader impacts on Palestinian social and economic rights; and assessing their lawfulness within international law.

Since 2006, we have called for the implementation of the right to family unity and family reunification and the establishment of clear and transparent procedures for foreign nationals seeking to maintain a presence in the oPt, in keeping with international law. We have emphasized that Israel’s restrictions on movement and access to and within the oPt, in fact and law, must be distinguished from Israel’s restrictions on foreign nationals’ entry into Israel. We have also raised repeated concerns about the treatment to which those trying to enter or reside in the oPt have been subjected, asking third States to ensure that Israel grant safe and secure passage into the oPt to its citizens and that its citizens be treated with dignity and respect and without discrimination. Most of the foreign nationals affected by access restrictions are of Palestinian or Arab origin and have close family and historical ties to the country.

Over the years, concerted efforts by concerned individuals and organizations, as well as diplomatic interventions by various third States, have occasionally prompted Israel’s authorities to make partial and temporary adjustments to particular egregiously unlawful elements of the policies and procedures they apply to govern the entry and presence of foreign nationals in the oPt.  Nevertheless, over 15 years later, those policies and procedures remain substantively unlawful and opaque and continue to be erratically and non-transparently implemented.

Foreign nationals who want to visit, live, or work in the oPt continue to be arbitrarily turned away at Israeli ports of entry, which are the only way to reach the oPt, or arbitrarily refused visa renewal applications. Families are being separated; investors are exiting the country; educators are unable to reach their schools and universities; students’ education is being disrupted; and the elderly are being left without caretakers, to state but some of the extensive ramifications.

The Problem

Israel continues to consolidate and intensify its practices regarding restriction of entry or re-entry to the oPt with respect to residents of and visitors to the OPT (Gaza Strip and West Bank) who do not hold a Palestinian ID issued by the Israeli Ministry of Interior. A Palestinian ID is a personal identification document issued by Israel for Palestinian residents and their children.

Israel unilaterally denies entry or return to the oPt via the international Israeli borders at Ben Gurion Airport, Allenby Bridge, Sheikh Hussein Bridge, and Eilat. Most of those affected are Palestinian natives, spouses, children, parents and other close relatives of Palestinian ID holders. The policy affects entire families or individual members of families, like the father or the mother of minor children. As a result, families are torn apart, jobs or businesses lost and personal property becomes inaccessible.

The practice applies to people with and without Palestinian or Arab origins, and to those with and without local family relations. In addition to families, effected groups include professionals and academics who are in the oPt for teaching, research, the arts, business, visiting or volunteering their services. Most of these individuals have never overstayed their visitor’s visas or breached any visiting regulations. It must be noted that Israel has reserved for itself the exclusive power of civil registration and issuing IDs for Palestinians, visitors’ visas and work permits for non-ID holders to the oPt. By these means it is conducting a swift and effective ‘silent transfer’ of the Palestinian population while the latter is living at the mercy of the Israeli occupation authorities. In addition to the people already locked out, there are many more still in the oPt and at risk of deportation or re-entry denial once they exit the country’s international borders to comply with Israeli visa regulations.

Our Objectives

  • Contact those still in the country and at risk of being denied re-entry, to advise them what options may be available to them, and to share experience about ways of proactive legal action;
  • Collect information and document cases of entry and re-entry denial;
  • Call on the national and international community to protest and take action against this Israeli practice of family separation and denying entry to foreign experts and supporters;
  • Launch an international legal and political campaign to prevent, stop and reverse these Israeli policies and practices;
  • Urge consulates and embassies of affected citizens to formally protest, protect and take action against these Israeli practices;
  • Publicize the issue and disseminate information through national and international media channels.

Contact Us 

Contact the campaign by email at righttoenter@gmail.com.