A Palestinian from the Tulkarem Governorate in the West Bank who was recruited by Israeli security services in the 1990s and forced to flee to Israel after his cover was compromised, has lived in Tel Aviv for more than two decades—now with his young son—without a permanent residency permit and without a legal course to earn a living.
"I love this country but feel like it abandoned me," said the agent, identified as "A.", tearfully in a conversation with Ynet while appealing to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri for a permanent residency permit that will allow him to earn a living.
A., in his 40s, was recruited in 1996 by an Israeli agent. He said that for several years he endangered his life to help Israel locate and arrest wanted persons in the West Bank.
"In one of our activities, after we finished capturing a wanted person, my agent told me that I had to flee urgently because I was exposed," he recounted. "I came to Tel Aviv and did not ask the state for anything. My operator would meet with me every few weeks and give me a Talkman card (a prepaid Israeli SIM Card) so that I could talk to him on the phone and some money in cash."
Later he returned to work again for the security services and was asked to recruit agents in east Jerusalem, but at some point his "employment" was terminated.
Last year, A. was almost expelled back to the Palestinian Authority after his Civil Administration permits expired. At the last minute, however, it was decided to extend his stay until the end of 2018, by virtue of family unification with his son from his ex-wife, who has Israeli citizenship.
According to A., all his requests to the Ministry of the Interior to receive legal status fell on deaf ears, and he says that he was told by the ministry that it was impossible to give him a residency permit based on the documents he submitted to them.
He claims that all his attempts to obtain clarification on this from the relevant officials at the Interior Ministry were met with evasive responses.
"I hope that Minister Deri or someone else will help me because I'm sick of this life," he pleaded. "I have to take care of my kid, but I'm stuck. I can't rent an apartment, start a business or work because I do not have an Israeli ID card. I cannot go back to the (Palestinian) territories because I am under threat—there is a bounty from Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades on my head.
"I love this country and know that here none of my enemies will hurt me, but on the other hand they don't allow me to live here. I pray that the relevant parties understand that an injustice has been done and correct it before Independence Day."
The Population and Immigration Authority said in response that "the status of collaborators is solely based on the recommendation of the (Israeli) security services," noting there was no such recommendation for him and stressing that if he feels his life is in danger, he should "contact the relevant authorities."