Cabinet officials clarified on Monday that an amendment to the temporary provision of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law whereby illegal residents who are married to Israelis and asking for citizenship must declare allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish democratic state” has not yet been passed. The amendment is still under consideration, officials said.

Earlier reports incorrectly stated that the cabinet had approved the amendment to the temporary provision on Sunday.

The measure is designed to make it more difficult for Palestinians married to Israeli Arabs to gain citizenship on the basis of family unification.

Security officials told the cabinet that since the construction of the West Bank security barrier, terrorist organizations had been looking to enlist the children of couples made up of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians to gather intelligence, prepare the groundwork for terrorist attacks, and even carry out the attacks themselves. The officials said that terrorist groups were trying to recruit people from this population because their Israeli ID cards gave them freedom of movement between Israel and the PA.

There are an estimated 25,000 Israeli Arabs married to Palestinians from beyond the Green Line, with the phenomenon most prevalent in the Jerusalem area. The security officials said there had been 59 cases in recent years of one partner in such marriages, or their children, being involved in terrorist activity.

The assumption behind the new “pledge of allegiance” is that it would deter Palestinians from asking for citizenship, because they would not want to be branded as collaborators.

Government officials stressed that the declaration of allegiance to a Jewish, democratic state was intended only for illegal residents asking for citizenship, and not – as Israel Beiteinu had put on its platform – for Israeli Arabs already living in the country.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger