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18.5.2016

Ministry of Interior data reveals: some 12,500 Palestinians live in Israel by virtue of family unification processes; of them, some 80% are without social security rights or status in Israel

On October 6, 2015, HaMoked applied to the Ministry of Interior under the Freedom of Information Law for information concerning family unification processes in East Jerusalem from 2012 and on. HaMoked inquired, inter alia, how many family unification applications were filed in this period; how many were filed for minors; how many were approved/refused; and also, how many people were living in Israel in general in the framework of family unification processes, with either military stay permits or temporary residency status (visa type A/5).

In the absence of a response, HaMoked petitioned the court on January 20, 2016, asserting that the authority’s conduct was in blatant violation of the law, whereby it must answer an application under the Freedom of Information Law within 30 days.

On May 17, 2016, the Ministry of Interior provided a response to HaMoked’s application. According to the data, since 2012, a total of 2,632 requests for family unification had been filed in East Jerusalem; 1,458 of them were filed by men and 1,174 by women. 1,248 of the requests were approved and 526 refused.

According to the data on family unification in Israel (including Jerusalem), at the time of the response, there are 12,309 people living in Israel with temporary Israeli status (visa type A/5), which affords them social security rights, including national health insurance, in the framework of family unification processes. 2,600 of them – HaMoked was informed for the first time – are Palestinians originating from the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, there are 9,900 Palestinians living in Israel with only military stay permits given in the framework of family unification processes – without status or social security rights; of them, 9,573 are West Bank residents and 327 are Gaza Strip residents.

Following the response, the petition was deleted.
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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