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Gantz urges Netanyahu to help extend ban on Palestinian family reunification

Defense Minister Gantz calls on Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu to assist in approving a renewal of legislation barring Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens from receiving citizenship, after the former premier’s Likud party and allied factions refused to vote with the new coalition to extend the law, despite previously having backed it.

“This law is essential for safeguarding the country’s security and Jewish and democratic character, and security consideration need to be put for all political considerations,” Gantz says, in a statement from his office. “Even in difficult times politically, we put Israel before everything.”

Gantz’s office also says he instructed his party’s deputy coalition whip Eitan Ginsburg to work with Yamina’s chief whip Idit Silman to enlist “all Zionist components” in order to ensure a Knesset majority for extending the law.

Then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the weekly cabinet meeting, at the Jerusalem City Hall in Jerusalem on May 9, 2021. (Amit Shabi/POOL)

Meanwhile, Moshe Arbel, a lawmaker from the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, a part of Netanyahu’s right-wing-religious bloc, notes the “importance” of extending the law, but says he’ll vote against it as part of the opposition’s efforts to bring down the new government.

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