"Ban on Family Unification" - Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order)

Bans family unification where one spouse is an Israeli citizen (in practice almost all of whom are Palestinian citizens) and the other a resident of the OPT (excluding Jewish settler living in the OPT).

Minor exceptions to the ban were introduced in 2005 allowing the Interior Ministry to make special exceptions to the ban, including in cases where the husband is over 35 years of age or the wife over 25, in special medical or work cases, and for children under the age of 14 to live with the parent inside Israel.

An additional amendment in 2007 expanded the ban to include citizens and residents of Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. In accordance with the law, a cabinet decision added further restrictions in 2008 affecting residents of the Gaza Strip.

Although the law was originally enacted as a temporary order, its validity has been repeatedly extended by the Knesset making it in effect a permanent law. Thousands of Palestinian families have been affected by the law, forced to split apart, move abroad or live in Israel in fear of constant deportation.

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