Attorney General Menachem Mazuz yesterday proposed amending the controversial Citizenship Law that bars Palestinians married to Israelis from obtaining their spouse's citizenship. The temporary order will be submitted to the cabinet for extension on Sunday.
Mazuz, who attended a consultation with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Interior Minister Avraham Poraz and Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter, suggested extending the temporary order, which was enacted in July 2003 for a year, by six months rather than a year.
Mazuz suggested three reservations for the law, which evoked international denunciations and was branded discriminatory and racist. It is now pending a High Court of Justice ruling.
Mazuz suggested a married Palestinian couple over 35 be permitted to be naturalized; Palestinian women married to Israelis would be naturalized if the security authorities confirm the candidate's relatives are not involved in terror; and Palestinian families with children who have been living in Israel for several years but have not settled their citizenship status, will be treated less rigidly.
Mazuz suggested that at the end of the six-month extension period a new, time-limited Citizenship Law, would be enacted.
The temporary provision for the Citizenship Law was enacted at the recommendation of the Shin Bet, which said the Israeli sons of naturalized Palestinians were involved in terrorist activity. The Shin Bet has not changed its position and says the threat is still in effect, and Sharon has adopted its position.
Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel wrote to the ministers that the law was "extremely unconstitutional, racist and discriminatory, as it deprives basic rights on nationalistic grounds."
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