Israeli ministers back bill barring some Palestinians from obtaining Israeli citizenship

Israeli ministers back bill barring some Palestinians from obtaining Israeli citizenship
This restrictive bill which bars Palestinians married to Israelis from obtaining Israeli residency could push Israeli MPs to accept a less restrictive bill on the same topic, which was proposed last week.
2 min read
17 January, 2022
Israeli ministers voted to back a controversial bill restricting Palestinians' access to Israeli citizenship [NIR ELIAS/POOL/AFP via Getty]

An Israeli ministerial committee approved a controversial bill on Sunday that would bar Palestinians married to Israeli citizens from gaining residency in Israel.

Simcha Rothman, an Israeli MP from the Religious Zionism Party, introduced the bill restricting citizenship opportunities to some Palestinians.

Another bill on the same topic, submitted by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, also received backing from the ministerial committee last week.

The two drafted legislation are due to replace a temporary law that expired in July after the Knesset failed to renew it.

Rothman's bill has been described as "more restrictive" than Shaked's by Israeli daily Haaretz. It is similar to a series of temporary laws banning Israeli residency for Palestinians who marry Israelis.

The law had been adopted in 2003 and renewed annually since.

The ministers' backing for a more restrictive bill is likely an attempt to push two parties in the Israeli government coalition to accept Shaked's bill, which they had initially rejected.

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Right and far-right Israeli parties have been trying to block Palestinians' access to Israeli residency for years through these temporary laws, which have been contested by Israeli High Court rulings. 

Earlier this month, the High Court ruled that Israel's interior ministry could not continue to deny family reunification for Palestinians married to Israelis since the temporary bill barring them from obtaining residency had expired.