Gaza, ALRAY - The occupation authorities forced a Jerusalemite of Mughrabi family to replace his ID card with a biometric one, even though the new identification system is still optional.
The Haaretz newspaper said the Palestinian citizen went to so-called Office of the Population and Immigration Authority to validate his ID card, but the officer refused and replaced it with a biometric one.
Project coordinator at the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights Ghalib Nashashibi told local media that "The biometric card is to be optional for two years; the occupation authorities are not entitled to force citizens to replace their ID cards with biometric,"
Nashashibi explained that a biometric card shows basic personal information, as it takes his fingerprint," pointing out that "it's set to be imposed only after two years from now,"
Nashashibi added that the biometric card is designed to be revocable and only renewable upon confirming that a citizen is a permanent resident of Jerusalem.
He confirmed that the occupation authorities actually enforced this system, as Jerusalemites' IDs card expire after 10 years, and that a citizen has to renew his by providing unequivocal proof of his permanent residency in the city.
"The rising house prices in occupied Jerusalem and the overpopulation witnessed in the city are of the most important obstacles facing Palestinian Jerusalemites when searching for a house,"
According to an earlier report of Haaretz, the biometric database is a computerized compilation of data, collecting and centralizing fingerprints and facial features of all citizens of (Israel), as part of a process of issuing new ‘smart’ identification documents.
In the meantime, the biometric system has been running under trial for two years as from two months.
During the trial run, people wanting to renew their I.D. or a passport have the choice of opting out whether they want a biometric document, the newspaper added.
It claims that the advantage of this system is to facilitate pre-flight processing at many airports around the world.
The Association for Civil Rights opposed the initiative, saying that its purpose is to compile a huge police database.
They argue that the centralized biometric database is not essential for producing ‘smart’ or biometric documents. The project, according to them, is an infringement on privacy, and leaked data could cause irreversible damage.