The Citizenship Law blocks the entry of Palestinians married to Israeli citizens. The decision was made following a series of deadly terror attacks in Israel in May 2002, after security officials claimed the perpetrators had entered Israel under a law allowing family reunification.
High Court discussion (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The ruling elicited harsh responses among the petitioners' representatives.
Attorney Orna Cohen slammed the High Court: "This is a very severe decision. The High Court refused to provide legal aid to one of the most racist laws and hurt the most basic constitutional rights."
"It appears that the court refused to interfere in an openly racist law, which revokes basic rights on an ethnic basis. This is a day that will be remembered in Israel's legal history as a very bad day," she added.
'Black flag of injustice'
Attorney Dan Yakir, the legal advisor of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said: "This is a sad day for Israeli democracy, the constitutional revolution and human rights. If the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty is unable to defend such a basic right for equality and family life, the question is what rights it is able to defend."
The High Court's ruling delivered a severe blow to human rights – the right for equality and for family life, Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka (National Democratic Assembly) said Sunday.
"A black flag of injustice is flying over this decision. We will appeal to international courts following this miserable decision," he stated.
In February Judge Cheshin confronted the attorney who represents the petitioners against the Citizenship Law during a deliberation in the High Court.
"I'm talking about an adversary regime, a regime that wants to destroy Israel. Now we need to allow them entry… I don't understand, are we really not striving for life?" said Cheshin at the time.