Israel Supreme Court upholds citizenship law

[JURIST] The Israeli Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday upheld [judgment, in Hebrew] a law that prevents Palestinians who marry Israelis from obtaining Israeli citizenship. The court upheld the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law [text, PDF] in a 6-5 ruling, approving the original version [text, PDF] from 2003 along with its amended versions from 2005 [text, PDF] and 2007 [text, PDF, in Hebrew]. With its ruling the court again rejected the petition [text, PDF in Hebrew] filed by Adalah [advocacy website], a civil rights group in Israel, arguing that the law is unconstitutional. The law denies citizenship and right to reside in Israel to Palestinian citizens from the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) [OHCHR materials] or from "enemy states" defined by the law including Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq. As a result, it restricts Palestinian Arabs, citizens of Israel, from living with their spouse from these regions in Israel. The 2005 amendment allowed women over 25 and men over 35 to apply for temporary permits to live in Israel. In 2006, Adalah had filed a petition against the original version of the law which was rejected [judgment, PDF] by the same court stating that the constitutionality issue does not cover citizens of other countries, especially countries which are considered enemies to Israel.

Israeli government has been active in passing stricter laws this year. The Israeli Knesset [official website] passed [JURIST report] on Tuesday a bill that increases the penalties on illegal migrants in Israel and Israelis helping them. Penalties may include arrest and detainment in prison for indefinite time period without trial. The government also approved a bill [JURIST report] that bans the use of Nazi symbolism.

 

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