JERUSALEM, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Israel has renewed its restrictions on the freedom of movement on foreign nationals living in the West Bank, stating that they may not enter Israeli land and east Jerusalem, the Ha'aretz daily reported Wednesday.
According to the report , foreigners living in the area (mostly partners of Palestinians there, Palestinians who lived on foreign land or those working there like teachers and university professors) who came to renew their visa in November 2012 had it stamped with the words "Judea and Samaria only," the biblical term for the West Bank.
The stamp, in theory, limits people to Areas A and B, which are under full Palestinian control and Israeli security control, according to the Oslo agreements.
According to officials in the Palestinian Interior Ministry, the renewed restriction came into play on Nov. 1. On that date, they explain, it was applied to all foreign nationals of Palestinian origin and subsequently to non-Palestinians.
The prohibition of leaving the West Bank limits academic access and those foreigners who cannot get vehicles with Israeli license plates. They also cannot reach their consulates in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
A representative at the American Consulate in Jerusalem who expressed his displeasure with the new restriction said that a similar incident occurred in 2009 when Western nationals' passports were stamped with the words "PA (Palestinian Authority) Only."
In response to the report, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Guy Inbar, said that the stamp has been in place for at least six months, and that there's no essential difference between the new and old stamps.
Population and Immigration Authority spokeswoman Sabin Hadad also said that there's been "no change in the matter."