Israel’s High Court of Justice has recognized the special ties of Jerusalem-born Palestinians to their city — a precedent-setting ruling that could help protect their residency rights.

Since capturing traditionally Arab east Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has stripped 14,500 Palestinians of their residency rights. Reasons included prolonged absence from Jerusalem, even in cases where Palestinians moved to the outskirts because of housing shortages in the city or went abroad to study.

This week, three Supreme Court judges ordered the state to restore the residency of a Jerusalem-born Palestinian, now 58, who moved to the United States as a child but returned to the city.

The judges referred to Palestinians from Jerusalem as “native-born residents.”

Lawyer Adi Lustigman, who handles visa and residency cases in a Jerusalem law firm, said Wednesday that it was the first time the court has recognized the special ties of Jerusalemite Palestinians to their native city.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.