As the scheduled August 15th pullout from the Gaza Strip approaches, the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, passed a number of bills on the last day of its summer session. One bill dealt with the citizenship of Palestinians married to Israeli Arabs. Following a three-year ban on all applications during the Palestinian terror war, the new law, which passed by a 59-12 majority, allows Palestinian men over 35 and women over 25 to apply for residency or citizenship. Another law addressed serving as a member of Knesset and chairman of the Histadrut (labor union) simultaneously (or holding two public offices at the same time). Implementation of this law was postponed for further discussion when the new session opens. A third law grants foreign laborers living and working in the settlements eligibility for national health insurance coverage for work-related injuries and maternity benefits.
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