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Israeli citizenship law passes first vote

Shaked succeeded in obtaining support for the bill from some opposition parties

Jerusalem24 – The General Assembly of the Israeli Knesset on Monday evening approved the “Citizenship and Entry” bill in the first vote. After it was presented in two copies to the first body by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and MK Simcha Rotman of the Religious Zionism Party.

According to the Israeli Ynet website, the draft law submitted by Shaked was approved in the first reading.

The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law was designed to introduce curbs on the immigration of Palestinians from the occupied territories into Israel proper. It does this by denying legal status under Israeli citizenship and residency laws. The Israeli government claims that the immigration of Palestinians through marriage generated an increased security risk. It also prevented Palestinians from moving from one region to another.

“The problem is that Israel does not recognize family reunification as a basic right,” says Jessica Montell the Director of HaMoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual. According to her in the past, Israel has accepted family reunification applications as a diplomatic move or a sign of goodwill rather than recognizing that these people have rights.

The website reported that 44 members voted in favor of the bill, and 5 opposed. While members of the opposition such as the Joint Arab List, as well as the government coalition such as Meretz and the United Arab List deliberately abstained from voting.

Shaked succeeded in obtaining support for the bill from some opposition parties after she voted alongside members of the right-wing parties in the government coalition based on the free-voting agreement reached yesterday, in favor of the Rotman bill (which is from the opposition).

Israeli Minister of Interior, Ayelet Shaked celebrating the passing of the law in the first vote on twitter

Thus, the two bills were passed before the Knesset in the first reading, provided that work will be done later on drafting a unified draft to be passed with other readings.

During the session, Ahmed Tibi from the Joint List tried to turn the vote into a vote of no-confidence in the Israeli government to embarrass the Unified Arab List and the Meretz party; but the members of the two parties left the hall and did not participate in the voting process.

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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