Israeli Interior Minister, member of the extremist Shas ultra-orthodox Jewish party, Eli Yishai, is demanding the Israeli cabinet to extend the ban on family unification for Arabs and Palestinians for additional six months.The law itself does not affect spouses that are Jewish, but is mainly meant to prevent Arab citizens of Israel, married to Palestinians, from obtaining family unification documents to be able to live together with their spouses in Israel. It also targets hundreds of Bedouin families in the occupied Negev.
Arab member of Knesset of the United Arab List, Dr. Ahmad Tibi, voiced a strong criticism of the stances of Yishai, and stated that this order is a threat to civil liberties in the country and has nothing to do with security, but directly related to demography.
The ban openly suggests that âby lawâ, family unification between citizens of Israel and their Palestinian or Arab partners is not allowed, unless the male partner is at least 36 years old and the female partner is not below the age of 26.
Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that when Yishai asked for an extension for the ban last time, the Israeli cabinet asked him to complete legislation of law contents to become a formal law, part of the comprehensive, so-called, Immigration Bill, that is allegedly meant to serve the âlong-term national and security interests of the countryâ.
According to Haaretz, security officials in Tel Aviv fear that âterror organizations would smuggle members into Israel under family unification lawsâ.
Israel also claims that %14 of attacks carried out in Israel were conducted by persons who carried Israeli ID cards, obtained through family unification.
The bill itself is illegal under international law and is an open and clear racial discrimination and racial profiling targeting non-Jews in Israel, as Jewish citizens of the country, married to foreign spouses, are not subject to any of these restrictions, and can easily obtain legal documents for their partners.