In 2008, HP was awarded a $74 million contract by the Israeli Ministry of Interior to manufacture five million biometric ID cards, which contain advanced technology which allows the Israeli Population Authority to track and monitor all citizens and residents of Israel – including Palestinian Jerusalemites.Israel maintains a stratified ID system – designating Palestinians holding West Bank residence with green ID cards, those in Gaza with red ID cards, and permanent residents of occupied Jerusalem with blue IDs (distinguished from the IDs of Israeli citizens). This structure works to further divide the Palestinian population from both the occupiers and each other, limit freedom of movement, and institutionalize inequality and discrimination. Additionally, Israeli ID cards serve to differentiate Palestinian citizens of Israel from Jewish citizens, and are commonly used for segregation purposes and other discriminatory practices.

Palestinians with permanent residency status in Jerusalem face unique hardships as a result of such division, the Alternative Information Center reports.

Though subject to Israeli law, permanent residents are not afforded comprehensive rights. Instead, despite having been born in the city of Jerusalem, their status equates them to immigrants with limited entitlements. Blue Jerusalem IDs also serve as the sole means for proving their right to remain in the city, as Israel imposes numerous tactics to forcibly expel the Arab population and Judaize Jerusalem. Among these is the Center of Life policy, which compels Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to prove to the Ministry of Interior that the city remains his or her main place of living through an exhaustive (at times, impossible to attain) list of documents. Since its illegal and de-facto annexation by Israel in 1967, over 14,000 IDs have been revoked, forcing Palestinians to either leave the city or reside within it illegally.

Just as Polaroid and IBM were targets for international boycotts because of their joint-production of pass books in apartheid South Africa, activists are calling on the global community to boycott HP for its complicity in Israel’s ethnic cleansing of occupied Jerusalem.

For further information, please refer to the orginal article by the AIC, via link below.