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Israel’s Supreme Court upholds limit on family reunifications

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court voted by a narrow margin to uphold a law that prevents Israelis who marry Palestinians from living in Israel.

The panel of judges late Wednesday evening rejected a lawsuit against the Citizenship Law by a vote of 6 to 5.

The majority opinion justices wrote in their ruling that they recognize the constitutional right for family reunification, but said that the reunification does not have to occur inside Israel.

The Citizenship Law was passed in 2003. Under the law, a West Bank Palestinian may only obtain citizenship if he can prove that he identifies with the State of Israel or has made a contribution to Israel’s security. A Palestinian husband must be at least 36 years of age or a Palestinian wife must be at least 26 for family reunification, according to Haaretz.

"It is a dark day for the protection of human rights and for the Israeli High Court of Justice. The court has failed to uphold basic human rights in the face of the tyranny of the Knesset majority. The majority opinion has stamped its approval on a racist law, one will harm the very texture of the lives of families whose only sin is the Palestinian blood that runs in their veins," said attorneys Dan Yakir and Oded Feller from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) in a statement.

Since 1993, more than 100,000 Palestinians have received permission to live in Israel, according to Haaretz.
 

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