Illegal to bar Palestinians who marry Israelis from citizenship - court

"Ayelet Shaked must decide if she is accountable to the Islamic Movement or the citizens of Israel," Bezalel Smotrich said.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The High Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked cannot keep preventing Palestinians who marry Israelis from receiving citizenship after the controversial Citizenship Law expired.

The coalition failed to pass a bill that would have extended the law in July. Since then, Shaked has used her ministry to block family reunification as if the law remained intact.

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation voted Sunday to advance the bill again, but Shaked still lacks a majority for it in the Knesset, because Meretz and Ra’am (United Arab List) oppose it, and the Likud, which supports it, will not vote for it for political reasons.

The court accepted a petition from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and other human rights groups, saying that Shaked is violating the law.

Ra’am faction chairman Waleed Taha, who heads the Knesset Interior Committee, praised the ruling, saying the situation had gotten worse since the bill failed to pass, because unlike in the past, very few exceptions were considered.  

AYELET SHAKED: Without a big, strong United Right there is no chance settlement annexation will happen (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)AYELET SHAKED: Without a big, strong United Right there is no chance settlement annexation will happen (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich challenged Shaked to instead pass an even tougher anti-immigration bill sponsored by his party’s MK, Simcha Rothman.

“Shaked must decide if she is accountable to the Islamic Movement or the citizens of Israel,” Smotrich said. “The security of Israel is too precious to play games with it. History will not forgive Shaked if she continues surrendering to the terrorism supporters in Ra’am and harming the Jewish state.”

A mass demonstration will be held next Tuesday in 100 junctions across the country and at the Western Wall, under the banner “Israel is in danger. We want a Jewish state.”

Posters for the event, retweeted by opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, feature Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas.