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Thursday Jan. 12, 2012 11:51 AM (EST+7)
Supreme Court upholds law blocking Palestinian spouses in Israel
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RAMALLAH, January 12 (JMCC) - Israel's Supreme Court upheld legislation Wednesday that prevents Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens from gaining citizenship, thus dashing the hopes of thousands of couples who are forced by the law to live separately or in uncertainty.
EnlargeIsraeli youths wave Israeli flags during a march celebrating Jerusalem Day in front Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, May 12, 2010. (AP/Maya Hitij)


Multimedia
No Longer Ahmed - Pt. 1
Nov. 20, 2009 9:56 PM (EST+7)
Police beat Palestinian during Jaffa eviction
Oct. 8, 2011 12:10 PM (EST+7)
Police beat Palestinian during Jaffa eviction
Oct. 8, 2011 12:10 PM (EST+7)
Documents
Dec. 2009 Situation Report of the Campaign for the Right to Enter the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Q & A: Palestinian refugees and displaced persons
Off the Map: Land and Housing Violations in Israel‘s Unrecognized Bedouin Villages
Publications
Poll No. 34, November 1999 - Palestinian - Israeli Attitudes Towards Palestinian Refugees
Israeli Obstacles to Economic Development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories - 2nd edition
Poll No. 11, December 1995 - On Palestinian Elections
Background
Citizenship
Citizenship
Minorities (Israeli)
Resources
"Special Report: Ban on Family Unification" by Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
“Honorary citizenship of the moon” by Amira Hass, Haaretz, January 26, 2009
“Israel, Palestine and the question of citizenship” by Azmi Bishara, February 6, 2004


The Citizenship Law, a temporary measure passed in 2002 but repeatedly renewed, blocks the process of gaining citizenship for couples where one spouse is a resident of the occupied territories or countries considered at war with Israel.

Temporary residency can be issued under certain conditions, but in practice the number of permits granted is low. 

The petition was brought before the court by three rights organizations and a member of Knesset. The court, in reviews in 2006 and 2007, was critical of the law, but either refused or delayed its ruling. This time, it upheld the law in a 6-5 decision.

"It is a dark day for the protection of human rights and for the Israeli High Court of Justice," said Dan Yakir and Oded Feller, lawyers for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, one of the petitioners.

"The court has failed to uphold basic human rights in the face of the tyranny of the Knesset majority. The majority opinion has stamped its approval on a racist law, one will harm the very texture of the lives of families whose only sin is the Palestinian blood that runs in their veins."

Haaretz interviewed several families affected by the law, who spoke bitterly of the court's decision.

“The decision is proof that one shouldn’t have any faith in the Israeli judicial system," professor Taysir Khatib told the paper. "It is clear that the Supreme Court is influenced by the wave of fascism and racism sweeping Israel and the judges weren’t expected to act in any other way.”

Khatib's wife, Lana, is from Nablus and, while she has been granted a permit to reside in his native Acre, she is unable to drive or advance professionally under its terms.






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Israeli youths wave Israeli flags during a march celebrating Jerusalem Day in front Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, May 12, 2010. (AP/Maya Hitij)



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