Cabinet eases family unification restrictions

Sunday, May 15, 2005 |    

The Cabinet has eased restrictions that have prevented thousands of Palestinians from uniting with spouses who are Arab citizens of Israel. The restrictions were imposed in May 2002 at the height of the Palestinian terror war as a "temporary" security measure but have been challenged by Israel’s Supreme Court. The restrictions are mostly about demographics--the fear that Israel is gradually losing its Jewish majority thanks to a high Arab birthrate. "Every country has the right to determine limits on who will enter and who will become a citizen of the country," Cabinet Minister Tsipi Livni told Army Radio. The restrictions were only partially lifted and will effect about a third of Palestinians seeking family unification.

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