Gov’t Approves Racist Law against Unification of Palestinian Families

The Israel government on Sunday unanimously approved for legislation a proposal by Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar to extend by one year a racist law that prevents the unification of Palestinian families. The law usually applies to West Bank and Gaza Arab-Palestinians who marry Israelis and wish to live in Israel, and not Palestinian Authority-controlled areas.

The Interior Ministry said that it was supporting an extension of the law based on consultations with the Shabak (Israels secret service) and other security agencies. According to those consultations, the Ministry said, “security officials said that Gaza remained a hotbed of terror activity, and that many of its residents were a clear and present danger to the security of Israelis.” Under the law, Gaza residents cannot be considered for Israeli residency.

Hadash activists during a rally against the "Citizenship Law" in Tel Aviv, on 16 October 2010

Hadash activists during a rally against the “Citizenship Law” in Tel Aviv, on 16 October 2010 (Photo: Activestills)

In response, MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) said that he “was upset to hear about the government’s decision. Once again the Citizenship Law is being used to generalize the barring of Palestinians from being considered for unification of families.” “Listing all Palestinians as security risks is racist and upsetting. It is time to end this and to consider all requests for reunification of families on an individual basis,” he added.