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11.4.2016

Following HaMoked's petitions to the High Court of Justice: the Minister of Interior decided that more than 2000 Palestinians who have been living in Israel for many years by virtue of a family unification procedure, will receive temporary residency status in Israel.

Over the course of 2014 HaMoked filed with the High Court of Justice a set of petitions for status upgrade of Palestinians, spouses of East Jerusalem residents who have been living in Israel for many years by virtue of a family unification procedure. In the petitions HaMoked emphasized that as a result of the prohibition which was imposed – following the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order), 5763-2003 – on the grant of status in Israel to Palestinians, residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), by virtue of their marriage to Israeli residents or nationals, they were forced to live in Israel under temporary permits only, with no social rights and with no certainty of the future. In view of the protracted violation of their rights HaMoked demanded that an exception be established in the law which would make it possible to give them – and others in their condition – status in Israel. Three additional petitions on this issue were filed through private attorneys.

Following the petitions, the state notified on August 5, 2015 that the Ministry of Interior embarked on administrative work the purpose of which was to reconsider diverse issues related to the "Temporary Order".

In an additional notice submitted by the state to the court on April 11, 2016, notice was given that the Minister of Interior decided to extend the Temporary Order. However, the minister decided to give temporary residency status (A/5 visa) to Palestinians living in Israel by virtue of a family unification procedure under temporary permits only, and whose family unification applications (which were approved) had been submitted not later than by the end of 2003. Said spouses and their minor children (who were born after January 1, 1998) will receive an A/5 visa which grants them social rights – provided they satisfy certain threshold conditions, including substantiation of center of life in Israel and absence of security or criminal preclusion. In addition it was noted that individuals who already had a temporary residency status (A/5 visa), would be able to renew it once every two years (instead of once annually).

The state notified that according to the data in the possession of the Population and Immigration Authority, this case concerned a group of 2,104 spouses who were entitled to a status upgrade out of about 9,900 Palestinian spouses living in Israel under temporary permits only. It was also stated that "the decision will be implemented gradually and not at once".
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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