Yishai refuses Vatican request to grant e. J'lem couple citizenship

Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Thursday refused a Vatican request to grant an east Jerusalem Christian couple Israeli citizenship or temporary residency. The request was made since the couple's current status doesn't afford them social benefits. Yishai told Army Radio that the request was turned down for various reasons, included security. In addition, the Interior Ministry is concerned that such a move would lead to similar requests made by Palestinian Muslims for family reunions. Israel has rejected such requests in the past and the family reunion issue is pending a High Court decision.