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Israeli Knesset passes first reading of bill blocking residency for married Palestinians

Occupied Palestine (The Inside Palestine)- The Israeli Knesset has passed the first reading of a bill that will keep married Palestinians and citizens of Israel separated.

The controversial Citizenship and Entry Into Israel Law will prevent Palestinians who marry partners with Israeli citizenship from automatically securing a residency permit to allow them to settle in Israel.

A further two readings and votes before the controversial legislation is officially enacted.

The bill was sponsored by right-wing Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, and received the approval of 44 members of the Knesset, out of a possibly 120, with just five voting against, according to Ynet.

Two further other versions of the bill were also presented sponsored by Religious Zionist Party MK Simcha Rothman and Likud MK Avi Dichter.

It was agreed among the right-wing parties that support would be given to Rothman’s bill, by the right-wing of the coalition, if in turn, the opposition gave their support to Shaked’s bill.

This voting agreement was scuppered when minutes before the vote was due to take place Palestinian lawmaker Ahmed Tibi from the Joint List submitted a request to have the vote on the controversial bill converted into a no-confidence vote of the government.

This prompted a number of factions, including religious parties and the centre-left Labor Party, to abstain from the vote.

The government coalition’s left-wing Meretz and the United Arab List did not vote for the bill.

A Meretz MK told Arabi21: “We support the government, and we oppose the Citizenship Law.

“As soon as the vote turned into a motion of no-confidence, we left. We will not vote for a racist law, and we will not vote for a no-confidence vote in the government.”

 

Source: The New Arab

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