Knesset rejects Citizenship Law

The coalition sought to extend the law preventing unification of Palestinian families by six months, but did not achieve a majority to do so.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Knesset plenum
Knesset plenum
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash 90

The Citizenship Law, which prevents the unification of Palestinian Arab families, did not pass in a vote in the Knesset plenum early Tuesday morning.

59 MKs voted in favor of the law, 59 voted against it and two abstained.

Just before the vote, the coalition turned the vote on the law into a vote of confidence in the government.

Two members of Ra'am, including chairman Mansour Abbas, voted in favor of the law. MK Amichai Chikli (Yamina) voted against.

Before the vote, the coalition factions agreed to extend the law by six months instead of one year.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced from the Knesset podium that she had reached an understanding with her coalition colleagues. According to Shaked, there are 9,000 people in Israel with a residence visa, and 3,500 who have received residency.

"Former Interior Minister Aryeh Deri gave 1,600 people a visa. We will also approve a similar amount of visas that will be examined by a humanitarian committee. The humanitarian committee will convene and discuss 1,600 humanitarian cases," Shaked noted.

Throughout the day, Shaked held intensive talks with Ra’am chairman Mansour Abbas, in order to enable the passage of the Citizenship Law in the Knesset plenum.



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