Israeli Affairs

Israeli government defeated in committee on Citizenship Law

After failing in a Knesset Committee, the family unification law will now move to the Knesset plenum for a vote.

Jerusalem24 – The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli government failed to get a vote in the Knesset Arrangements Committee Monday morning to pass the Citizenship Law to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, meaning that it will not come to a vote of all 120 MKs in the Knesset plenum later in the day.

Coalition partners Ra’am and Meretz oppose the law, a temporary measure first passed in 2003 which stops Palestinians who marry Israelis from obtaining Israeli citizenship on security grounds, and have promised to vote against it, denying the government a majority in the plenum.

Last week Meretz MK and Minister for Regional Cooperation Isawi Frej proposed to extend the law by just six months instead of a year and convene a ministerial committee to find a solution to humanitarian issues arising from the law.

The suggestion appeared to have foundered but reports in the Hebrew media suggest that Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked is now considering the compromise with the law is set to expire on Tuesday.
The opposition have denounced the coalition for its failure to pass the law due to the presence of Arab party Ra’am and left-wing Meretz in the government.
Head of the opposition and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded that the Citizenship Law be passed as a two month measure during which time the Likud’s stringent immigration law which would permanently deny family reunification to Palestinians marrying Israelis would be legislated.
The coalition has rejected this offer.
The heads of the opposition parties are scheduled to meet at 14:00 on Monday afternoon to determine how they will vote in the plenum later in the evening.
Netanyahu has not yet stated how the Likud will vote, with some murmurings of discontent against his stance coming from Likud MK Avi Dichter who has said the law must be approved on national security grounds.
Head of the Religious Zionist Party Betzalel Smotrich denounced the coalition over its failure to pass the Citizenship Law on Monday morning, alleging that they had formed “a dangerous government with a post-Zionist Left and anti-Zionist terrorism supporters” and yet will not negotiate with the opposition to pass its immigration law.
“The temporary law is full of holes and bad, and we have no interest in passing it just so the coalition will survive,” said Smotrich.

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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