New ‘Citizenship Law’ Advances in Knesset

YERUSHALAYIM -

Government ministers on Sunday gave initial approval to a bill that mostly bars Palestinians married to Israelis from receiving permits to live with their spouses in Israel.

The bill — called “the Citizenship Law” — advanced through the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, which allows the coalition to fast-track the process. From here, the bill will go to the Knesset, where it must still pass through several votes before becoming law.

Since 2003, an annually renewed law imposed a ban on Palestinians married to Israelis from receiving residency. The coalition failed to garner enough votes to renew the law in July, causing it to expire, in part due to the Ra’am party, two of whose MKs abstained.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked has since repeatedly said that she intends to bring the law to another vote. She has also continued to implement the ban, even though the law is no longer on the books.

“There’s no need to shirk from the essence of this law. It is one of the tools to ensure a Jewish majority in Israel, which is the nation-state of the Jewish people. Our goal is for there to be a Jewish majority,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid posted shortly before the law lapsed in early July.