The Higher Follow-up Committee today condemned the passing of a law denying naturalization to Palestinians from the occupied West Bank or Gaza married to Israeli citizens.
HFC, an extra-parliamentary organization that acts as a national coordinating and representative body for Palestinian citizens of Israel, slammed the so-called Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which was passed by Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, by a 45-15 majority vote on Thursday.
The law replaced a similar temporary order that first passed during the height of a Palestinian uprising in 2003 and was renewed annually until it expired last July, when the Knesset failed to secure a simple majority needed to extend it.
HFC said that the law was passed on racist grounds at the initiative of the Israeli coalition government through the Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and with the support of religious Zionist parties, including the Kahanists, whose ideology calls for the expulsion of all Palestinians from Israel and the territories it controls.
It added that the passage of the law, based on the fortification of Israel as a Jewish state and the denial of the very existence of the Palestinian people, emphasizes that the current Israeli government has surpassed the former ones in extremism and racism against the Palestinian citizens of Israel.
It stressed that the law, which discriminates against Israel’s Palestinian citizens who comprise some 21% of Israeli population and number some 1.9 million by barring them from extending citizenship and permanent residency rights to Palestinian spouses, infringes upon the personal freedom of the Palestinian citizens of Israel and shows the extent to which Israel has consolidated itself as an apartheid state.