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Israel Extends Family Unification Ban For Additional Year

05:54 Apr 15 2013 West Bank and Gaza

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by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

The Israeli government decided, during its Sunday session, to extend the ban on Palestinian family unification requests for an additional year.

The ban affects families in which one of the parents is a Palestinian while the second carries an Israeli ID card, and is based on what Israel alleges to be “security considerations”.

As part of the law, Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or residents who entered Israel from “hostile countries” are not allowed to enter and live in Israel despite the fact that they are married to Arab citizens of Israel.

Head of the Negotiations Department at the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Saeb Erekat, slammed the extension of the law, and aid that Israel is practicing forced exile of Palestinian families from the country, and trying to break the social foundation of the Palestinian society.

He called on the International Community to pressure Israel into voiding all of these segregation laws, and added that Israel wants the world to recognize it as a Jewish state in order to enable it to enforce the exile of the indigenous Palestinians from the country.

The ban was initially instated in 2003, and the Israeli Supreme court criticized it; consecutive Israeli governments kept reinstating it.

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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