Jerusalem24 – Palestinian spouses have resided illegally in the West Bank for years with little legal recourse to obtain permits to live with their families. Israeli courts have ruled that family unification in the West Bank is not a right guaranteed by international law.
The problem lies with families whose members entered the West Bank and Gaza with temporary or “tourist” visit permits, or Palestinians who were married to other nationalities without obtaining a “family reunification” decision; As Israel deals with them as “illegal residents” and violators. If some of them are forced to travel, they will leave their families without returning.
It is worth noting that Israel agreed more than 10 years ago to “reunite” about 50,000 Palestinians, but the file has been pending since then. As for the number of applicants, the “unification is my right” campaign on its Facebook page estimates them at about 22,000 people.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced on Monday that Israel plans to legalize thousands of undocumented foreign nationals married to Palestinians as part of an overall Israeli strategy to strengthen the Palestinian Authority.
“We have reached an agreement with the Israeli government on the Palestinian families’ reunification file, to have 5,000 as a first batch in the road to finalizing this file entirely in a prearranged timeframe,” Al-Sheikh said in a tweet.
We have reached an agreement with the Israeli government on the Palestinian families’ reunification file, to have 5000 as a first batch in the road to finalising this file entirely in a prearranged timeframe.
— حسين الشيخ Hussein Al Sheikh (@HusseinSheikhpl) August 30, 2021
The announcement came one day after a meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Gantz held in the city of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.
This evening I met with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to discuss security-policy, civilian and economic issues. I told Chairman Abbas that Israel seeks to take measures that will strengthen the PA’s economy.
— בני גנץ – Benny Gantz (@gantzbe) August 29, 2021
Since yesterday A large number of people went to updating their family reunification data requests at the civil affairs offices.