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In response to the Minister of Interior’s decision to grant temporary status in Israel to some 2000 Palestinians living in the country in the framework of family unification processes: HaMoked demands the application of a uniform principle to all Palestinian spouses and their children, based on lengthy period of life in Israel

On April 11, 2016, in the framework of HaMoked’s petitions to the High Court of Justice (HCJ), the state announced that the Minister of Interior decided to grant temporary residency status (visa type A/5) to Palestinians who had been living for many years in Israel with stay permits only given as part of a family unification process, provided their approved family unification had been filed no later than the end of 2003. It was also decided that the children of such parents would also be entitled for status, provided they were born after 1.1.1998.

In its response to the state’s notice, dated April 19, 2016, HaMoked stressed that despite the decision’s importance, it did not provide an adequate solution to the fundamental problems raised in the petitions. HaMoked asserted that a uniform criterion – the period of living in Israel – must be applied in the issue of granting Israeli status to Palestinians who live in the country with stay permits in the framework of family unification. The longer the period, the greater the harm to the families; and, as the court noted in the past (in AAA 6407/11), there is no security preclusion to giving these people temporary status, as they would still undergo periodic security examinations with an A/5 type visa.

The Minister of Interior’s decision creates, inter alia, a wrongful distinction between those who submitted an application by the end of 2003 and all the others who, like them, have been living in Israel for many years with their families, except that they do not meet this arbitrary and narrow criterion. Thus for example, all those who formed their families in Israel before the enactment of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) 5763-2003, but who, for various reasons, did not submit a family unification application before the end of 2003, are not entitled for Israeli status under the decision. As a result of the decision, a growing number of Palestinian spouses are left without status or social security rights, and thousands of families without relief. As specified in the state’s notice, the decision relates to 2,104 couples out of about 9,900!

In addition, HaMoked strongly objects to the limiting of the grant of status to such children – whose parents are to receive status following the Minister of Interior’s decision – only to those born after a certain date. HaMoked pointed out that this unexplained restriction was even more severe for children than on adults, and created a situation where the offspring of a resident parent would be left throughout their lives without status and without rights. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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