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Israel's controversial citizenship law persists

With the extension of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law for the 14th year in a row, Palestinians in the West Bank will continue to be blocked from reunifying with family members in Israel.
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RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Knesset extended the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law on June 13, for the 14th time. The law prohibits granting Israeli citizenship to Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who are married to Palestinians within the Green Line (aka Israeli Arabs) under the pretext that they might participate in attacks against Israel.

The Knesset first approved the citizenship law in July 2003, as a temporary measure set to last a year, out of fear that the Palestinians who were allowed to reunite with their families would stage anti-Israeli acts. But the Knesset has renewed the law ever since. In March 2007, the Knesset approved an amendment to the law, adding several more countries — Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran — whose citizens would be banned from reuniting with their families in Israel, if they were to marry Israeli Arabs. Israeli law considers those countries "enemy states."

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