Israel Extends Family Unification Ban For A Year

12:00 Jul 26 2011 Jerusalem

The Israeli Knesset approved a request by the government of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to extend the ban on family reunification for an additional year prohibiting granting Israeli citizenship, or even residency, to Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis or Syrians married to Israeli citizens.

The Israeli Radio reported that the Kadima opposition block at the Knesset voted for the ban extension, while Legislator Meir Sheetrit of the Kadima party said that he approves of this legislation as Israel does not have a comprehensive legislation that deals with immigration issues.

Meanwhile, member of Knesset of the Yisrael Beitenu fundamentalist party, member of the Knesset Constitution Law and Justice Committee, David Rotem, said that granting Israeli citizenship to Arab spouses of Israeli citizens is not a guaranteed right.

Furthermore, MK Nissim Ze’ev of the Shas fundamentalist Jewish party, said that “Israel cannot ignore the fact that some of those who received Israeli citizenship after being married to Israelis where behind attacks in Israel”.

The ban was initially instated in 2003, and the Israeli Supreme court criticized it; consecutive Israeli governments kept reinstating it. The last extension before this one was approved by the Knesset on January 2nd, 2011.

The law does not apply to family reunification for Israeli Jews married to foreign spouses, and Israeli Arabs married to citizens of foreign countries, excluding Arab states.
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