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Citizenship Law passes final reading in Knesset, with backing from right-wing opposition

People hold a protest against the 'Citizenship Law' outside the Knesset, on June 29, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
People hold a protest against the 'Citizenship Law' outside the Knesset, on June 29, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

After weeks of coalition infighting, the Knesset reauthorized a longstanding ban on Palestinians who marry Israelis receiving residency in Israel.

The so-called Citizenship Law was passed in 2003 as a temporary security measure. It was renewed on an annual basis until last July, when the coalition failed to marshal the votes to pass it.

The law is enormously controversial — surviving two Supreme Court challenges by the vote of one justice. Israeli politicians say the law helps preserve a Jewish majority in Israel, while Arab Israelis call it racist.

The Islamist Ra’am party and the left-wing Meretz party voted against the law.

To pass the bill, the center and right-wing Zionist parties that make up Israel’s diverse coalition received backing from the right-wing opposition.

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