The Knesset extended for fifteen months the validity of the racist Nationality and Entry into Israel (Temporary Order) Law, which prevents family unification of residents of East Jerusalem and citizens of Israel married to Palestinians who are residents of the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. The extension follows the High Court of Justice’s rejection last year of the petition filed by Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights to invalidate the statute. In addition, the Knesset expanded the application of the law to include a category "dangerous countries," containing Syria , Lebanon , Iraq , and Iran , whose citizens are denied family unification under the provisions of the statute.
The Knesset’s action in extending the validity of the law will continue the severe impairment of the family life of tens of thousands of persons, citizens and residents of Israel and residents of the West Bank and Gaza alike. Israelis who married residents of the West Bank or Gaza will not be able to live with their spouse. Couples choosing to violate the law and live together in Israel (including East Jerusalem ) will find it impossible to live normal lives, and will be in constant fear of being caught. If a couple decides to live in the West Bank or Gaza, the Israeli spouse will be considered a lawbreaker, unless he or she received a special permit, given that the military commanders have forbidden Israelis to enter Area A in the West Bank or to enter the Gaza Strip. Couples who married before the statute was enacted, in cases in which the spouse from the West Bank or Gaza has not yet received a permanent status in Israel , are allowed to live together only if the non-resident spouse is given a temporary permit, which can be obtained by applying to the Civil Administration. Permits are hard to obtain, and Israel cancels them at frequent intervals.