Not worried. Pines-Paz
Photo: Hagai Aharon

New committee to consider Palestinian family reunification requests

Interior Ministry establishes committee comprising security, public officials to consider granting Palestinians temporary residence status in special humanitarian cases

The Interior Ministry established on Monday a special committee tasked with looking into requests made by Palestinians to reside in Israel for humanitarian reasons, including family reunification.


Four years ago, a temporary order dubbed "The Citizenship Law" blocked the entry of Palestinians under the age of 35 married to Israeli women aged 25 or under. The order was issued 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.


The committee will be composed of two public officials, as well as representatives from the Shin Bet, IDF and the Population Administration.


Eight months ago the Knesset's House Committee ordered the Interior Ministry to set up a special committee that would consider allowing Palestinians to immigrate to Israel on a temporary basis in special humanitarian cases related to illness and family tragedies.


Some 120 requests have already been filed.


Following an appeal lodged by an Israeli man and his sick Palestinian wife with the help of Doctors for Human Rights, the High Court of Justice determined last week that the committee must convene as soon as possible and that as long as it did not do so the Interior Ministry was in violation of the law.


House Committee chairman Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) told Ynet that "the government was against establishing the committee for what is called security reasons, but I believe other motives were behind this as well.


"I am not concerned with the possibility that the committee will allow the entry of Palestinians who may be a security threat because it will consist of representatives from the security establishment," he said. 


פרסום ראשון: 12.18.07, 19:56
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