Law Prevents Terrorists Claiming 'Family Reunification'
The Knesset passed a bill Wednesday extending an existing ban on citizens from enemy states using "reunification with family" as a reason to enter Israel.
The bill, which passed by a landslide vote of 42 to 15, is based on an assessment by the General Security Services and recommend by Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar.
In practical terms, the law dictates that each person who applies for Israeli residency on the basis of reuniting with family who is not already an Israeli citizen is subject to a background check for security risks, i.e. a criminal record. The law usually applies to Palestinian Arabs who marry Israelis and then wish to live in Israel - as opposed to under Palestinian Authority (PA) rule.
The original law, often dubbed the Citizenship law, was passed in 2012. In 2013, an extension was approved by a majority of 73 to 18; Arab MKs responded fiercely to the extension, claiming the law was "racist."
Those in favor of the law state that the potential security risk of terrorists seeking to use the pretext of family reunification to enter Israel outweighs any humanitarian consideration.
Supporters also point to statistics showing that terrorism in Judea and Samaria - and areas near major Palestinian Arab neighborhoods, e.g. Jerusalem, has seen a major upswing since peace talks began between Israel and the PA.