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High Court refrains from immediate decision on appeal against Ukrainian refugee cap

The High Court of Justice has opted not to intervene in Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked’s decision to limit the number of Ukrainian refugees that Israel will allow into the country at this time, giving the Knesset and the government additional time to consider the matter.

A number of non-governmental organizations had challenged Shaked’s refugee policy with petitions to the court, with some arguing for more refugees to be allowed in and some calling for fewer. Shaked has called for an unlimited number of refugees to be allowed into Israel, provided they have close family in the country, while restricting the number of refugees without relatives in Israel to 5,000. Opponents of this policy argue that this differentiation based on family ties amounts to unfair discrimination and violates an agreement between Israel and Ukraine, allowing for visa-free travel between the countries.

Upon hearing arguments today, the court decides not to rule on the matter immediately as the matter is due to be discussed in the Knesset on Wednesday, and the policy is only due to go into effect next Sunday. The judges therefore are giving the government until next Monday, March 28, to respond to the petitions.

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