Israeli high court urged to overturn citizenship law

Amnesty International on Feb. 18 urged the Israeli Supreme Court to repeal a law that bans many Palestinians from entering the country, including those who are seeking reunification with their families. The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law was first enacted in 2003 as a temporary one-year order but has been renewed annually. In addition to urging the Supreme Court to invalidate the law, the statement encourages Israeli authorities to resume "family unification applications," allowing Israeli citizens or residents fo apply for residency for their non-Jewish spouses or family members. The Supreme Court is hearing a case that joins 11 petitions challenging the law. This is rhe first such challenge to go before the country's highest court since related cases in 2012 and 2006. AI claims the law violates numerous international treatises, including Articles 2 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (PDF) and Article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (PDF).

From Jurist, Feb. 20. Used with permision.

Note: The law bars family "unification" for Palestinian men aged between 18 and 35 or Palestinian women aged between 18 and 25 who are residents of the OPT. Relatives not excluded by age can be prohibited for suspicion of involvement in activities hostile to Israel, which are very broadly defined, and could include any criminal offences, stone-throwing, pr taking part in demonstrations and other political activity. There have been recent proposals to make the Citizenship Law more stringent.