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12.11.2017

HaMoked to the Chair of the committee reviewing the extension of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law: the committee must present accurate data relating to the Law’s application to children over age 14

On November 7, 2017, HaMoked’s representatives attended a hearing of the joint committee of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Internal Affairs Committee of the Israeli Knesset, tasked with reviewing the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law. This law was amended in 2003 to block family unification between Israelis or Jerusalemites and their spouses from the OPT. The Law was enacted as a “temporary order” that needs to be renewed periodically. The committee, operating since 2015, is tasked with reviewing the information relating to the Law and recommending to the Knesset plenum whether to approve or reject the Law’s extension for another period.

During the hearing, which dealt, among other things, with the ban on granting Israeli status to minors ages 14-18, representatives of the Israel Security Agency (ISA), presented partial data on the involvement of minors in security-related offenses. According to the ISA data, between the years 2001-2017, 28 minors ages 13-17 were involved in such activity – but only six of them took part in the family unification process themselves (dubbed “Generation A” by the ISA). Moreover, the data shows that only one of these six minors was involved in security-related activity recently, between 2011-2017. The other 22 minors never took part in the family unification procedure, but were born to a parent who received status in Israel in this framework (“Generation B” as the ISA calls them).

HaMoked’s representatives argued in response that involvement of minors who did not themselves take part in the family unification procedure was irrelevant to the extension of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, as the Law deals only with those participating in this process. And, as stated above, the number of minors of the latter group who were involved in security-related activity was very small in general, and nearly zero from 2011 to the present.

Following the meeting, HaMoked wrote to the committee Chair, MK Avi Dichter on November 9, 2017, requesting his assistance in obtaining more data, to enable it to substantiate its claim that the number of minors taking part in the family unification procedure in recent years who were involved in security-related activity, does not justify extending the validity of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law in its current form. The Law now prohibits granting status to children over age 14, and thus violates their right to a secure family unit, hampers fulfilling their rights to education and health, and turns them into foreigners in their own home, liable to be deported from the country of their mother or father.
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