Amnesty urges Israel Supreme Court to overturn citizenship law
Amnesty urges Israel Supreme Court to overturn citizenship law

Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Sundayurged [text, PDF] the Israeli Supreme Court [website, in Hebrew] to repeal a 2003 law that bans many Palestinians from entering the country, including those who are seeking reunification with their families. The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law [text] was originally enacted as a temporary one-year order but has been renewed annually. In addition to urging the Supreme Court to invalidate the law, the statement encourages Israeli authorities to resume “family unification applications … a process by which Israeli citizens or residents must apply to the Israeli Ministry of Interior to ‘unify’ or provide status that allows their non-Jewish spouses or members of their family who do not hold Israeli citizenship or status, to live in Israel or Jerusalem.” The Supreme Court is hearing a case Monday that joins 11 petitions challenging the legality of the law, the first such challenge to go before the country’s highest court since a case in 2012, and the second since 2006 [AI reports]. AI claims the law violates numerous international treatises, including Articles 2 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [text, PDF] and Article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination [text, PDF].

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been at the forefront of recent international news and reports. Last month Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will be lifting restrictions [JURIST report] on Israelis building settlements in East Jerusalem. In December a spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned remarks [JURIST report] made by then-US Secretary of State John Kerry on the current Israeli government. In a speech given in December Kerry criticized the building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, stating that such actions jeopardize prospects of peace in the Middle East. Netanyahu in December summoned [JURIST report] the ambassadors of the 14 UN Security Council members who supported a resolution condemning Israel’s settlement in Palestine to rebuke them for the vote. Following the passage of this resolution, Netanyahu also ordered the country’s foreign ministers to reevaluate Israel’s ties to the UN within the month. Earlier this month Trump was warned [JURIST report] by Palestinian leaders not to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.