TN 31 (08-05)

GN 00307.742 Vital Statistics Records in the Palestinian-Administered Territories

A. Background

During the period from 1993 - 1997, the Israeli authorities transferred their historical vital statistics records for all Palestinians (except as noted below) living in Gaza and the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority. These historical vital statistics records date from 1918 to the time of transfer. The Israeli authorities transferred the original records to the Palestinian Authority, but kept copies of the originals.

In the Palestinian-Administered Territories, each geographical district maintains the historical vital statistics records in the archives. There are several districts in the West Bank and one overall archive for Gaza. The Palestinian Authority is also in the process of centralizing all the records in a central computer system. The Palestine Authority Ministry of the Interior in Ramallah, West Bank began issuing Palestine Authority Passports in April 1995.

EXCEPTION: Records relating to Palestinians of Jerusalem (i.e., those who have the right to live in Jerusalem) were NOT transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Only the Israeli Government holds these records.

B. Policy

1. Civil birth records

SSA accepts birth records at face value if the document shows a recordation date.

Absent information to the contrary, SSA assumes the year of registration is the year of recordation if the:

  • birth occurred after 1967 and before 1998;

  • birth certificate was issued by one of the archives of the Palestinian Authority; and

  • recordation date is not shown.

Civil birth certificates issued by the Israeli authorities for births prior to 1998 based on their copies of the records transferred to the Palestinian Authority and civil birth records for Palestinians of Jerusalem are evaluated under the criteria for Israeli records (as explained in GN 00307.190D., Israel).

2. Other civil vital statistics records

SSA accepts civil records of marriage, divorce, adoption or death at face value.

3. Religious records

SSA accepts religious records of birth/baptism under the conditions set forth in
GN 00307.105A.2.d. and GN 00307.110 only if the document itself shows that it was issued by an RCC, or that the baptism was performed in accordance with the Latin rites.

SSA does not use the claimant's statement to establish that the document was issued by an RCC.

SSA accepts religious (including Sharia court) records of other vital statistics events at face value.

C. Procedure - Requests for certifications of vital statistics records

Since neither the Palestinian Authority nor the individual archives have established procedures for handling mail requests for certifications of these records, advise claimants to request certifications either by;

  • contacting the Palestinian Authority Embassy (or other agency acting for the Authority) in their country of residence; or

  • completing a power of attorney authorizing a family member or other designated representative to obtain the record(s) for them.

If there is a doubt as to whether an area is administered by the Palestinian Authority, accept the claimant's statement about this.

D. Procedure - Verification of documents

Send requests for verification of certifications of records in the possession of the Palestinian Authority to the Foreign Service Post (FSP) in Jerusalem.

Be sure the request is clear and complete. If a personal examination of the source records is needed, explain this. Provide the FSP with a clear and complete copy of the document to be verified. Include any information in the file (e.g., other DOBs used) which may assist in the investigation.

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GN 00307.742 - Vital Statistics Records in the Palestinian-Administered Territories - 11/04/2010
Batch run: 08/20/2018