The Nationality and Entry into Israel Law


On 31 July 2003, the Knesset enacted the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) - 2003. This law prohibits the granting of any residency or citizenship status to Palestinians from the 1967 Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) who are married to Israeli citizens. The Law affects thousands of families comprised of tens of thousands of individuals. The Law, which was originally enacted for one year, was extended by the Knesset for a six month period on 21 July 2004, and for an additional four month period on 31 January 2005. On 27 July 2005, the Knesset voted to extend the law until 31 March 2006, with minor amendments which do not diminish the unconstitutionality or discriminatory nature of the Law, and in the case of some amendments, inflict further violations of constitutional rights. In Adalah's view, the Law constitutes one of the most extreme measures in a series of governmental actions aimed at undermining the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as Palestinians from the OPTs. The Law incorporated the main elements of Government Decision #1813 in effect since 12 May 2002, the constitutionality of which Adalah has been challenging since May 2002. On 14 May 2006, a majority of the Supreme Court, in a split of 6-5 Justices,issued a 263-page decision in which it dismissed the petition, effectively approving the most racist legislation in the State of Israel.

On 21 March 2007, the Knesset passed the new law which maintains the ban on family unification where one spouse is a Palestinian from the OPT and adds the more stringent denial of family unification where one spouse is a resident or citizen of Lebanon, Syria, Iran or Iraq - states all defined by Israeli law as "enemy states" – and/or is an individual defined by the Israeli security forces as residing in an area where activity is occurring that is liable to endanger Israeli security.


 The Nationality and Entry into Israel Law, 31 July 2003  English |  Hebrew
 Proposed Government Bill, 4 June 2003 (with explanatory notes)  English |   Hebrew


 The Nationality and Entry Into Israel Law (Amendment), 27 July 2005 English |  Hebrew

 The Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Amendment), 21 March 2007  (Hebrew)