World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


The Knesset should reject discriminatory law

Israel/Occupied Territories: The Knesset should reject discriminatory law

"The draft law barring family reunification for Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens is profoundly discriminatory and Knesset members should reject it ," Amnesty International urged today.

The "Proposed Law on Citizenship and Entry into Israel," denies Israeli citizens married to Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip their right to live with their spouses in their own country. The draft bill in effect targets Israeli citizens of Palestinian origins, who constitute some 20 percent of the population of Israel, as it is they who marry Palestinians from the Occupied Territories.

"A law permitting such blatant racial discrimination, on grounds of ethnicity or nationality, would clearly violate international human rights law and treaties which Israel has ratified and pledged to uphold," Amnesty International said.

This bill clearly discriminates against Israeli citizens of Palestinian origin and their Palestinian spouses. It is scandalous that the Government has presented this bill - and it is shocking that the Knesset has accepted to rush it through - the organization added.

If passed this law would affect thousands of couples, including those newly married and couples who have been married for years, and whose requests for residence permits are still pending. Some couples have been waiting for 10 years or more for family reunification. In the meantime they are forced to live separately or for the Palestinian spouse to stay in Israel without a permit and risk being deported at any time.

The government has contended that the bill is aimed at addressing the security threat posed by Palestinians from the Occupied Territories.

"Security measures must be proportionate and respect Israel's human rights obligations. Israel cannot punish thousands of families, when it has many other security options available," Amnesty International stressed.

The adverse impact of this law would be even greater for Palestinians residents of East Jerusalem who do not have Israeli citizenship. Their Palestinian spouses will not be allowed to live with them in Jerusalem and they will lose their right to live in Jerusalem if they go to live with their spouses in the Occupied Territories.

Background

Palestinians have long experienced difficulties in obtaining permits to join their spouses in Israel. Such difficulties have progressively increased over the years. Some couples who have been married for 10 years or more have still not been able to obtain approval for their family reunification applications. These couples are thus forced to live apart, or the Palestinian spouse has to remain in Israel without a permit and be liable to arrest and deportation at any time.

Since the beginning of the intifada residence permits for Palestinian spouses have been de-facto frozen and in May 2002 the Israeli Ministry of the Interior issued an administrative decision formalizing the freeze. The Israeli government cabinet approved this policy "in light of the security situation and because of the implication of the immigration and the establishment in Israel of foreigners of Palestinian descent including through family reunification."

The government subsequently submitted the above-mentioned draft law to the Knesset. The draft law passed its first reading in the Knesset on 18 June 2003. It is scheduled to be discussed by the Knesset's Internal Affairs Committee on 29 July 2003 in an effort to have the bill rushed through and passed by the Knesset before its summer recess (which begins on 3 August).

View all documents on Israel and the Occupied Territories at http://amnesty-news.c.tclk.net/maabiIzaaZuoBbb0hPub/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news