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6.11.2014

State to HCJ: Dismiss petitions to grant status to Palestinians living in Israel under family unification for years.

The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) forces thousands of Palestinians, originally West Bank residents, who are married to Israelis, to live with their families in Israel by virtue of renewable stay permits issued by the military, without any assurances regarding their future. Year after year, they must prove their center-of-life is in Israel and undergo security checks, with no end in sight. Without civil status in the country, they receive no social security rights and are denied access to the country’s health services.
 
From July to October 2014, HaMoked filed 13 HCJ petitions on behalf of Palestinians who had been living in Israel for years with renewable military-issued stay permits and demanded the Law include an exclusion allowing to grant them, and others in the same situation, status in Israel.

In the petitions, HaMoked argued, inter alia, that leaving such a large group of people without status even though they are proven not to constitute a security threat year after year is neither reasonable nor proportionate and fails to serve the security purpose the state alleges underlies the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law. HaMoked stressed that the justices of the Supreme Court have begun addressing this issue, instructing the legislature to consider whether given the time that has elapsed, the harm caused to these individuals is still justified.

On November 2, 2014, the state submitted its response, in which it moved for the petitions to be dismissed out of hand, as “according to case law, the Court… shall not issue an order instructing the government and the Knesset to initiate legislative amendments”, much less dictate the contents of such. The Knesset’s legal advisor supplied a similar response.

These responses ignore the numerous judgments in which the court expressed displeasure at the current situation and urged the state to consider granting status to people who entered the family unification procedure many years ago. The responses also fail to address HaMoked’s arguments on their merits, and ignore the fact that court upheld the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law in the first place, because it was a “temporary order” and would be periodically reviewed.
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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