Cabinet Expected to Extend Law Withholding Citizenship From Palestinians Who Marry Israelis

Law's preamble quotes Shin Bet security service assessment that Palestinians applying for family unification constitute 'a heightened potential security risk.'

The cabinet today is expected to approve a one-year extension of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which prohibits Palestinians who are married to Israeli citizens from living in Israel.

The current law is due to be replaced with new legislation in the future, according to the preamble of the resolution, which cabinet members will be asked to approve today. That legislation will be submitted to the government this year, it states.

Taysar Hatib - Yaron Kaminsky - 12012012
Yaron Kaminsky

The preamble quotes a Shin Bet security service assessment, which states that the law must be extended because Palestinians applying for family unification constitute "a heightened potential security risk." Despite a decline in terror originating in the West Bank, the security service assessment states that "past experience ... points to use of this population to carry out terror attacks in light of their access to targets in Israel."

Earlier this month, the High Court of Justice rejected three petitions which claimed that the Citizenship Law is unconstitutional. A temporary order, the Citizenship Law must be extended from time to time in order to remain valid.

An expanded panel of 11 justices ruled on the petitions, putting an end to an eight-year legal process. Six justices supported the law, including the Supreme Court president-elect, Justice Asher Dan Grunis. "Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide," Grunis wrote.

Five justices opposed the law, including the court's outgoing president, Justice Dorit Beinisch. In the minority opinion, she wrote, "The law severely violates the constitutional rights of Israel's Arab citizens."

Read this article in Hebrew