Know More About Palestine
Wednesday March 2, 2011 2:27 PM (EST+7)

According to Israelzzz*zs Law of Return (1950), every Jew has the right to come to Israel as an oleh or Jewish immigrant. In conjunction, the citizenship law provides for Israeli citizenship for all Jews that express the desire to settle in Israel.

By contrast, Palestinian refugees in the various Arab-Israel wars have yet to have their right to return to their land recognized by Israel.

The issue of granting citizenship and legal stay in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories is governed by the Citizenship Law and Entry into Israel Law (1952).

On July 31, 2003, Israelzzz*zs Knesset enacted the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) - 5763. This law denies citizenship or residency status to Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip who are married to Israeli citizens. Originally enacted for one year, the Knesset later extended the law until March 31, 2006.

The Knesset then passed a new law preserving the family unification restrictions that applied to Palestinians from the OPT, and additionally denying family unification for spouses that are citizens or residents of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or Iran – all considered "enemy states" according to Israeli law.

The Palestinian population registry and all its data is controlled by Israel. The Palestinian Authority has no authority to grant citizenship or residency, as established by the Oslo agreements.

There are also considerable differences in Israel concerning the status of citizens. Former member of Knesset Azmi Bishara has said that there are two kinds of citizenship in Israel: Arabs that happened to remain in Israel in 1948 were given “incidental” citizenship, whereas Jews are granted “essential” citizenship as a means of maintaining a demographic Jewish majority.

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