JERUSALEM : The Knesset (Israel’s parliament) on Monday extended a law preventing the reunification of Palestinian families for another year.
The extension of the law was passed by 20-9 votes, the Knesset said in a statement.
First enacted in 2003 at the height of the Palestinian intifada, the law was renewed on an annual basis.
The legislation mainly targets Palestinians living in East Jerusalem or in Israel and married to Palestinians from either the West Bank or Gaza. The law bans those families from obtaining residence permits in Israel.
Under the law, the interior minister is not allowed to grant citizenship or stays in Israel for any citizen from Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon.
Arab member of the Knesset Iman Khatib-Yasin described the law extension as a “complete opposite of democracy.”
“It’s racism for its own sake,” she said. “Every time they have to renew their temporary residency, they are afraid of the moment they will be told to leave [Israel] and be separated from their spouses or children.”
According to Palestinian and Israeli NGOs, there are thousands of Palestinian families who are affected by the law. — AA