Israeli sources reported on Thursday that Israel extended a law barring Palestinian family unification by two additional months after the Israeli Defense Establishment requested a two-year extension.
The law bars Palestinians from the occupied territories married to Arab residents of Israel from having permits of family reunification to be able to live with their spouses in Israel. Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that the Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livini and Labor member of Knesset Ghalib Majalde agreed that the law would be extended two months.
The emergency law was supposed to expire by January 16, therefore Israel is tarrying to bring the extension before the Knesset for the second and third readings before that date. Haaretz added that Livni is expected to bring the law before the Knesset for approval on Sunday while the plenum will be asked to vote on it Monday.
Majalda who was promised by the Labor party leader Amir Peretz to be appointed as Minister of Science, Sport and Culture, told Haaretz that he convinced Livni to extend the Emergency Order for only two more months, in order “to send a message to the Palestinians that Israel wishes to renew peace talks”.
Majalda stated that during the two months period he will be holding meetings with the Knesset Interior Committee to modify the law in order to “minimize the humanitarian difficulties it poses to Palestinian families”.
The Israeli security services Shin Bet claimed earlier this week during a meeting with the Knesset Interior Committee that 38 out of 272 suicide bombing carried in Israel involved Palestinians who carried Israeli identity cards which were received through family reunification.
Haaretz added that the Israeli Deputy Attorney General Mike Blass told the committee that it is essential to extend the law for a considerable period of time because the security threat has not diminished. Meanwhile, an Israeli organization known as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel slammed the new law and described it as collective punishment and a direct violation of the rights of individuals.
Barring family unification will force hundreds of families to live apart as Israel will not allow the Palestinian spouse from living in Israel and will bar the Arab resident of Israel from living in the Palestinian territories unless they “choose to abandon their Jerusalem or Israeli ID”.