AMMAN: Israel's renewal of a temporary law that bars Israeli citizens from availing residency to their Palestinian spouses from the occupied West Bank and Gaza has invited criticism from different quarters for involving the element of racism in it.
The Knesset government, which had failed to pass the law earlier due to the objection from Left Wing and Arab members in his coalition government, passed the law with a 45-15 vote. The law could make it impossible for families to reunite where one of the spouses is an Israeli citizen.
Critics see the law is to discourage the Arab-Israel marriage with the aim of maintaining Jewish majority in the country. However, the law does not apply to Jewish settlers in the West Bank as they already have Israeli citizenship, according to a report published in Arab News.
Many geopolitical experts and activists the Arab News has talked with affirm that the law is discriminatory that deprive Palestinian citizens of Israel their rights to live with their loved ones and family.
The law will further intensify the discrimination faced by Arab Palestinians, while a Jewish settler family is free to move and live on either side of the green line.
Arab News quoted Jessica Montell, executive director of the HaMoked Center for the Defense of the Individual, as said that her organisation is planning to challenge the law in the Israeli High Court as it against the equality and basic rights of Palestinian families.
The parliament's approval needs for the law to be renewed every year. Though the law bans the Israelis marrying citizens of enemy states, including Lebanon and Iraq, it will be the Palestinians on whom the law mostly impacted.
It also empowers the Israeli interior minister to charge Palestinians married to Israelis with espionage or terrorism if they are caught travelling with their spouses.