Ø Israel’s Parliament has failed to pass an extension to a controversial law barring Palestinians from the occupied West Bank or Gaza from being granted citizenship
rights upon marrying Israelis. After a prolonged debate, the vote was tied 59 to 59. It was the first major political test for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition since it took office in June, 2021.
Ø Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the vote “a premeditated, direct blow to national security”. The law prevents Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip who marry Palestinian citizens of Israel from automatically gaining Israeli residency and citizenship, causing endless complications for Palestinians living across Israel and the territories it has occupied since 1967.
Ø The ban was first enacted during the second Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, and justified by supporters on security grounds, but critics derided it as a discriminatory measure amounting to apartheid that targets Israel’s Palestinian minority. The law had been extended annually since 2003. Thousands of Palestinians married to Israeli citizens but unable to claim citizenship rights may now be able to do so.