Effective annexation: Israel now stamping passports of West Bank visitors “Judea and Samaria only”

New Israeli stamp says “Judea & Samaria only” in reference to the occupied West Bank.

Rima Merriman

Because the Palestinian Authority has no real control or sovereignty, anyone who wishes to go to the occupied West Bank can only do so with Israeli permission. This includes foreign visitors and thousands of Palestinians with third country passports who live or visit there.

Even though many foreign nationals live and work in the West Bank, there is no such thing as a work permit that allows them to work for Palestinian institutions or companies based in the occupied West Bank, or simply to live there securely.

So such people get Israeli “tourist” visas which they have to constantly renew and which are frequently arbitrarily denied.

Hundreds of Palestine solidarity activists challenging Israel’s iron grip on who can enter and leave the West Bank, have been expelled or denied entry over the past year.

It is not just ordinary people who are denied entry by the occupying regime, but even foreign government officials trying to meet with the Palestinian Authority.

This is an Israeli abuse that has even been documented by US diplomatic missions in the region.

Stamping passports “Judea and Samaria”

In the past, an Israeli visa meant that a foreign visitor or Palestinian with a foreign passport could roam throughout “Israel” and across the West Bank.

But since at least 2009, Israel began stamping passports of visitors to the West Bank with the words “Palestinian Authority only,” meaning that the bearer could only move within the occupied West Bank.

Now in a significant new development, Israel has begun stamping passports with the words “Judea & Samaria only.”

A previous stamp says “Palestinian Authority only.”

Rima Merriman

The image directly above is from the passport of Rima Merriman, a Palestinian-American university professor teaching American literature at Al Quds University. It shows the “Palestinian Authority only” stamp dated 24 August 2012. The image at the very top of this article, with Merriman’s most recent entry on 26 November 2012, shows the new stamp with the words “Judea and Samaria only.”

“Judea and Samaria” is the Jewish nationalist name Israel gives to the occupied West Bank to reinforce its bogus claims to the territory and to give them a veneer of historical and religious legitimacy.

The latest change is further proof, if it were needed, that Israel is, without announcing it, implementing a racist one-state solution where there is no such thing as a Palestinian state and even the “Palestinian Authority” has been erased.

Making life impossible for Palestinian institutions

Merriman explained to me that she has twice been denied re-entry at the Allenby Bridge crossing from Jordan into the occupied West Bank. Each time she was told “that I was entering to work with no work visa” even though “there is no way for an international academic working at a Palestinian university to get a work permit.” She was later able to re-enter “through coordination between the PA Civil Affairs Office” and the Israeli occupation authorities, but with considerable loss of time and cost.

Merriman also notes that Al Quds University is the only Palestinian university that Israel doesn’t recognize because it is the only one that has a presence in eastern occupied Jerusalem, which Israel has illegally annexed. Israel doesn’t recognize students’ diplomas, making it even more difficult for them to find work.

The explicitly racist and discriminatory nature of this Israeli entry regime can be seen in the fact that Jews of any nationality are not only granted entry whenever they wish, but are instantly granted Israeli citizenship, while Palestinians living or exiled abroad, even if born in Palestine, can only enter their own country as “visitors” on foreign passports and subject to the occupier’s whims.




The Hebrew word used in the stamp is "shtachim" (territories). The Israelis have used that word to refer to the West Bank ever since 1967. The names "Judea" and "Samaria" only appear in English.


That’s not quite right. “Judea and Samaria” appears in Hebrew in two ways on the 26 November 2012 stamp. The Hebrew words say the following:

“Population Registry of the Judea and Samaria Region - For Judea and Samaria territories only.”

What you might have missed is that it uses the Hebrew contraction איו”ש which stands for אזור יהודה ושומרון which is “Judea and Samaria.”


I just looked again but don't see 'Yuda" or "Shomron" in Hebrew. Where do you see it?


In the image at the very top of this article. The stamp on the top page. The one that says “Judea and Samaria only” in English also says it in Hebrew precisely as I described in my previous comment.


who can enter to his country or not...
this type of articles are not contributting at all to the situation, it's just adding more hate to the conflict.
the only way to make all of this to stop is to avoid this type of talking and start talking about peace!


Thank you for verifying what "ISrealis" and their supporters deny: THE OCCUPATION! The decision of who comes and goes should be made by the Palestinians but since they're just an annexed Bastunstan (until it is completely assimilitated), they don't even get to call the shots over that. "ISreal" apologists sure are devoid for common sense and thinking abilities.


No, this type of article is telling the truth and shedding light on the situation of the Palestinians. If it seems to much truth or too ugly for your delicate sensitivities, imagine what Palestinians must feel like under the iron-grip of 65 years of foreign colonial occupation. If you can't handle the truth, perhaps, you shouldn't frequent sites like this and stay at the Jerusalem Post.


Alice what do you mean by the term "conflict"? There is none.
There is the occupation. There are the occupiers and the occupied.
As for the peace talks the occupying power just added more hate by announcing construction of new houses for 500,000 "settlers" in occupied land.
Is that your idea of starting peace talks?


You cannot add anymore hate to the conflict than the Israeli regime has already added. Unless there is major change such as the restoration of Palestinian rights, peace talks are useless.



"Peace" has been on the table for 60 years and Israel (Zionist idealogy) has been slicing up and acquiring historical Palestine ever since. The "roadmap to peace" is a red-herring, a distraction, to cover-up the greatest land-grab in history as well as the most propaganda-laden example of ethnic cleansing the world has ever known. How can peace exist when occupation and colonisation are the centrepiece of Zionist ideology?


Alice, this is electronic intifada, keyword: intifada. They have no intention of writing to solve the conflict, they write in order to portray a black and white work of evil murderers and helpless victims. Their entire purpose is fueled by hatemongers for hate mongers and I would verify outside this website if I were you as they are notorious for making crap up.


Dear "'Aaron the Priest"' (אֵהֲרֹן הֵכֹּהֵ),

I will assume you are of Jewish descent and therefore either a friend or foe of Zionsist ideology. I assume the former, which entails you have no intention of peace since that would mean Israel not coveting all of historic Palestine. The Israeli government have announced a further 3.000 settlements not in Israel but in occupied Palestine (the West Bank). Thus how can there be any "peace" when Israel continues to take more and more 'pieces' of what is left of Palestine, which, as we all know, is almost negligible.

If I were to enter your house and "ask" to only settle in the bathroom because my parents informed me my great-grandparents lived there 200 years ago, you may think me crazy and predictably attempt to kick me out. But what if you failed and I was able to take and settle in your bathroom....small bedroom...master bedroom and then the entire lounge room all because I had supposed heritage in the past? And what if, after your repeated attempts to oust me out of your house, I agreed to some settlement? If you would stop being violent and therefore a "terrorist" I wll happily stop acquiring parts of your house.

But I renege on my promise because I have seen that I own more of your house than you actually do!

That is what the Palestinans must live with. If you would be so kind and change this reality under which they live, then you would become a hero not only in the eyes of Palestinians but to the world. Oh, but wait a minute, for your bravery and conviction to return dispossessed land to its indigenous population, you will be labelled a self-hating Jew and the biggest anti-semite the Kingdom of David has ever bared witness - or testimony - to.

'With heart slowly annexed, her lungs scream for air.
With soul attentively enslaved, her shadow lurks everywhere.
A mind so carefully encased, hence a voice bereft of sound.
And now a vessel holed bereft, she is there, never to be found.'


I see this as collecting evidence. We need to know how people's lives are affected by these tactics. We can sit here and decide whether to join the struggle for an end to occupation, and for that we need evidence of Israel's policies, or we can just be angry. Hate is a dead end.
One day, Israel's leaders will stand before the International Court of Justice. That is for sure.


Alice, you've missed something - if each country has the right to control its own borders, how come I have to ask Israeli authorities for the right to enter Palestine?? I travel between Amman, Nablus and Tulkarem, I don't go to Tel Aviv, I should not need an Israeli visa. Palestine should have the right to decide who can and can't enter its country, and the right to decide what terms are used to describe its territory.
To make things a little more equal, perhaps each person who travels to Israel should have to apply for a visa from the Palestinian Authority too?


Palestine is not a nation, a state, nor, hence, a country. It is the land upon which Zionism hopes to usurp and reclaim for a supremacist, Jewish state.


israel has a strategy to take over all of Palestine. our role is to deny at all times and as much as we can any legitimacy to the zionist entity. israel as presently constituted must cease to exist for there to be justice for all in that land.


Since when does knowledge breed hatred?
Justice for all can only be achieved if injustice is brought to light.


This article is very important. It shows again reality on the ground, which is in complet opposition of the so called reality Israel is giving to the world, and this since its creation. The distortion is so enormous since 68 years.For instance there was an european mission "Bienvenue en Palestine" in 2011. People could not come to Palestine; they were blocked in Tel Aviv and even at the airports of departure(!). In 2012 Israel said that the Mission for 2012 could go to Palestine via Alleby Bridge or Raffah crossing. They did so in 2012. But this was again a trap. Look to the video:


Being a US citizen I am ashamed of all the money we give Israel and the fire power we give also, i.e. F16's. etc. All this reminds me of part of a song from the play and movie "South Pacific," which one line states that hate has to be carefully taught. That seems to me is what we are teaching each generation - hatred for one another.


What's with the cowboy backgrounds on the passports?

I think it's an allusion to the beloved Israeli 'settler' mythology, myself.

Let's face it - Israel LOVES to play cowboys and Indians.

I don't see anyone in Israel raising grass, or herbivores, though.

Not too many Israelis riding horses, either, now that I think of it.

And here in the American Southwest, we think nothing of chasing after pretty Indian girls and marrying into their families.

Bein' tribal, 'n' all, you'd think the Israelis would identify with the Indians - not the pale-faced land-grabbers that tried to kill the Indians off.

I'd love to see an expose on the absurd background images, themselves - with the pages oriented, so that the images can be viewed without turning one's head sideways.

Apparently Israel thinks it is John Wayne.