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In blow to Shaked, High Court nixes limit on Ukrainian refugees to be let in

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked in  the plenum hall of the Knesset, on June 13, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked in the plenum hall of the Knesset, on June 13, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In a blow to Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, the High Court of Justice cancels the cap on the number of Ukrainian refugees Israel will accept following the Russian invasion.

Shaked has limited the number of Ukrainians Israel will accept to just 5,000 — not including those with close family relations to Israelis and those eligible to immigrate under the Law of Return, which grants citizenship to Jews or those with a Jewish parent or grandparent.

Tomer Warsha, a private lawyer, filed the High Court petition with the support of Kyiv’s Embassy in Israel. The state argued that the cap had been set under Israel’s emergency laws, that it feared many Ukrainians would remain in the country for many years, and that Warsha had no legal standing to file the petition since the policy didn’t affect him personally.

Chief Justice Esther Hayut and justices Uzi Vogelman and Yitzhak Amit accept the petition, rejecting all of the state’s arguments.

They rule that since the population affected by the policy isn’t in Israel, accepting that the plaintiff has no legal standing would give the policy de facto immunity from judicial oversight.

They refute the state’s fear of refugees staying for long periods of time by citing a statistic that since the invasion, 4,409 Ukrainians who were granted access have already left Israel.

And they say that the regulations used by the government don’t differentiate between normal times and times of emergency.

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