Citizenship Law

The parliament of Israel has failed to pass an extension for its controversial citizenship law. The law is barring the Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza who marry Israelis from having the grant of citizenship rights.

After a debate took place for the whole night, the vote was a tie with 59 and 59 scores. It was the first big defeat of Prime minister Naftali Bennett since he took office last month. As the critics think, this legislation is discriminatory. It is now due to expire at the end of Tuesday. Thousands of Palestinians who were unable to claim citizenship rights are now able to do so.

Mr. Bennett has set up the vote on the citizenship law as the vote of confidence. He is implementing the new objectives of his ideologically different government. It comprises the centrist, eight left-wing, right-wing, and Arab parties. It also has a very thin majority of one seat in the 120 seats of parliament.

He was hoping for a compromise tabled on Monday for the acceptance. It would have extended the law for six more months rather than a year. Also, it would have seen about 1600 Palestinians living in Israel having the grant for residency rights.

But with a tense last night session, Mr. Bennett’s government came up quite short. One member of his right-wing nationalist from the Yamina party voted against the extension. There are also two presentations from the list of United Arab.

The right-wing opposition politicians who have supported the legislation previously, with the lead of Benjamin Nethanyahu, have voted against the law.

Afterward, the Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked of Yamina commented, “The reckless conduct of Likud and Smotrich caused the collapse of the citizenship law and will lead to 15,000 citizenship applications.”

Mr. Netanyahu has refused to help the measure get passed. He said, “You cannot form a government that is based on anti-Zionist forces, and them come to us and tell us to save you from this fracture and failure.”

The Citizenship and Entry Law came into effect in 2003. It took place during the time of the second Palestinian intifada or the uprising. At that time, the Palestinian Militants were carrying out the attacks within Israel.

The authorities have renewed this law every year due to security reasons. However, the critics believe that it is motivated by the desire to maintain a majority of Jewish in Israel.

Credits: BBC

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