The new Israeli government failed to extend a controversial rule that prohibits the granting of citizenship to partners of Palestinian citizens of Israel, a provision that Prime Minister Naftalí Bennett wanted to renew. The deputies voted on Tuesday morning and the result was 59 votes in favor and 59 against, which implies that Palestinians who have married citizens of Israel will now be able to request Israeli nationality and thus achieve family reunification. .
Since it was first approved in July 2003During the second intifada, this measure was renewed by Parliament for security reasons. This year the situation changed with the arrival of a coalition government made up of very different formations, ranging from the nationalist right, embodied by Bennett, to the Arab parties of Israel, passing through leftist formations.
Bennett was betting on the extension of this measure, but this required 61 votes out of 120.
The left-wing Meretz party and the Islamist group Raam, which are part of the coalition, announced that they would vote against this rule, who consider that it discriminates against the Palestinians of Israel, which represent 20% of the country’s population.
For the law to be extended, Bennett then needed the votes of his political opponents, starting with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud. Although the formation is favorable to this law, it voted against to oppose the coalition that managed to remove Netanyahu from power, who had been in office for twelve consecutive years.
“The opposition has endangered the security of Israel,” Bennett’s Yamina party denounced in a statement. «There are things with which one does not play. State security is a red line, the state needs to control who enters and who obtains citizenship, ”Bennett said Monday night.
Palestinians from the West Bank, occupied by Israel since 1967, and from the Gaza Strip who marry Palestinians who are citizens of Israel often apply for citizenship in order to live with their spouses. Many couples are forced to live apart for years or risk imprisonment if discovered on Israeli soil without permission.