Court orders state to explain amendment to citizenship law
By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent
The High Court of Justice on Sunday issued an
interim order compelling the government the
explain its decision to amend the citizenship and
prevent the unification of families by prohibiting
the granting of residency or citizenship status to
Palestinians who are married to Israeli citizens.
The court ruling was in response to a petition by
Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in
Israel, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
and Knesset members from Meretz and the Arab factions.
Justices Aharon Barak, Dalia Dorner and Yaacov
Turkel also issued an interim injunction
blocking the state from deporting three
Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens who are
currently illegally residing in Israel until
the court rules on the petition.
The justices also ruled that a special session
of "as broad a panel as possible" will hear the
petition within a month.
The court suggested to the State Prosecutor's
representative, Yochi Genesin, that if any of
the three Palestinians pose a security threat
to Israel, the state will be able to ask the
court to annul the interim injunction. The
state said that it agreed to the deal,
emphasizing, however, that this did not mean
that it had altered its position on deporting
illegal residents of Israel.
Meretz MKs Zehava Gal-On and Roman Bronfman, who
were among the petitioners, said they were
satisfied with the court's interim ruling. They
said the ruling "proves that the court realizes
that there is a real threat to basic human
rights ... The extended panel shows the
importance and centrality of the petition to
MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash), also one of the
petitioners, also welcomed the ruling. Tibi
said the amendment "places a high, inhuman wall
between families, between men and women,
children and parents."