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Coalition to bring ‘family reunification’ law to Knesset vote next week — TV

The Knesset vote to extend the 2003 Palestinian “family reunification” law will likely be held in the middle of next week, Channel 12 reports.

The proposed legislation is testing the new coalition. It was pulled from the Knesset agenda on Sunday when it became apparent the coalition couldn’t muster a majority.

Ra’am and several MKs from the left-wing Meretz and Labor parties have announced they’ll oppose it. Most lawmakers in the opposition back the legislation in principle, but many have indicated that they will nevertheless vote against it to undermine and embarrass the new coalition.

Family reunification in Israel typically involves an Israeli citizen requesting citizenship for his or her non-Israeli spouse. Most unification applications are submitted by Arab Israelis on behalf of a Palestinian spouse living in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip.

But the 2003 measure, passed due to concerns that it was being abused by members of terror groups to gain access to Israel, put limits on the process, making it harder for Palestinians to gain Israeli citizenship or residency through marriage. The controversial law has been extended every year since, usually with strong backing from Likud and other right-wing parties.

The current legislation expires July 6.

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