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On 15 March 2009, the HCJ will hold a hearing – by an extended panel of 7 Justices – on petitions against the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law submitted by HaMoked, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Adalah and MK Zehava Galon: the petitioners demand the HCJ strike down this Law, as it is unconstitutional, motivated by racist-demographic and economic considerations, and contradicts the HCJ's previous ruling

The HCJ consolidated proceedings in the four petitions which oppose the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law and seek its cancellation. HaMoked's petition focused on the demand to cancel the Law inasmuch as it applies to the minor children of permanent residents of Israel, or, alternatively, to rule that every child, one of whose parents is a permanent resident and who normally lives with said parent in Israel, will be entitled to permanent residency in Israel. In the petition HaMoked claimed that the Court must strike down the Law or alternatively, rule that it does not apply to the children of permanent residents of the country – children who, as a result of this law, often remain stateless. The Law distinguishes between children under the age of 14, to whom the Minister of the Interior may grant status in Israel, and children over 14, to whom the Minister may only give temporary permits, which are subject to cancellation at any time, and which do not entitle their bearers to social security rights. Additionally, HaMoked claims that the Law contradicts the judgment handed down in previous petitions against the former version of the Law, and that the Amendment to the Law does not meet the principles and requirements laid out by the HCJ in that judgment.

In its response to the petitions dated 31 July 2008, the State rejected claims that the Law was racist, and that its legislation had been motivated by demographic and inappropriate considerations, and claimed that it had been legislated for an appropriate, security related purpose – the defense of Israeli civilians in the absence of effective individual examination of people who seek to acquire status in Israel. Additionally, the State disputed the assertion that the HCJ had ruled the Amendment to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law unconstitutional. Therefore, the State claimed, the petitions must be rejected. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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