Three terrorists responsible for two terror attacks in Jerusalem last week entered Israel legally under the guise of family reunification, the Shin Bet reported on Wednesday.
The three attackers were involved in shooting attacks in the capital last Tuesday and Wednesday, including an attack that left two Israeli Border Police officers seriously wounded.
Last Tuesday, two of the three terrorists opened fire on a Border Police vehicle driving down Salah a-Din Street in Jerusalem.
A day later, one of the three terrorists was involved in the shooting attack on a crowded bus in the Ramot neighborhood in northern Jerusalem.
Yesterday (Wednesday) the Shin Bet security agency revealed that the three terrorists were given permission to reside in Israel as part of the family reunification policy.
Israel’s family reunification law, which grants citizenship or permanent residency to non-citizens, including Palestinian Authority residents, has been restricted in recent years due to security concerns.
“The family reunification process, which is based on humanitarian concerns, allows Palestinians with family in Israel, like [the terrorists] Fuad Tamimi and Abed Almalak Hareb, to effortlessly enter Israel, a number of whom committed terror attacks in Israel,” the Shin Bet agency said in a statement.
Yet restrictions on the family reunification law, which give Israel discretionary powers to deny citizenship or residency to Palestinian Authority residents, have been heavily criticized by the Israeli left. And due to rulings by the Israeli Supreme Court, the restrictions are temporary, and must be extended every year by a Knesset vote.
Meretz chief Zahava Gal-On called the law a “disgrace that stains the Israeli books of law,” while Arab MKs have repeatedly derided the restrictions as racist.