The Israeli High Court presided over a hearing on Monday regarding two separate petitions brought against the controversial Israeli “Acceptance to Community Law”. The petitions were brought by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Adalah, a Palestinian rights movement. The court ruled that the government was required to explain within 60 days why the law should not be deemed unconstitutional.The controversial “Acceptance to Community Law” gives powers to towns and villages to screen individuals looking to live in the area and accept or reject them based on their fit with “the communities make up”.

Human rights activists, however, have criticized the law on the basis that it will be used to discriminate against non Jews, Palestinians, same sex couples and single parents.

The petition before the court included previous petitions from individuals denied entrance to the towns or villages including a family of migrants, Arab families and a family of Mizrachi Jews (Jews from the Middle East and North Africa). The petition also included a quote from MK David Rotem, who promoted the law in the Knesset, saying that the law was designed to limit the residency in the “communal” villages to Jews only.

Following the court’s decision, ACRI Attorney Gil Gan-Mor stated: “The High Court will have to rule whether the desire of certain communities to be ‘gated communities’ and to reject those who are not to their liking can overcome the right of Israeli citizens to live where they so wish and their right to dignity and equality”.