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Palestinian citizenship bill passes first Knesset reading (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Gideon Alon 05/26/05)Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/580510.html HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
An amendment to the Citizenship Law, designed to make it easier for Palestinians who are married to Israelis to acquire citizenship, passed its first reading in the Knesset yesterday.

A majority of 41 MKs from Likud, Labor, Shinui, United Torah Judaism and Shas voted in favor, while 23 MKs, including those from Yahad and the Arab factions, voted against.

The amendment, introduced by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, met with strong opposition on the part of left-wing MKs. It would allow Palestinian men who have reached the age of 35, and women who have reached the age of 25, to apply for Israeli citizenship on the basis of family reunification.

Livni said she had hastened to bring the amendment to a vote because an emergency regulation introduced during the current intifada, when a number of Palestinian men involved in terrorist attacks bore Israeli ID cards, was due to expire next Tuesday.

Yahad-Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On said that "this law is one of those that will leave a stain on the country´s law books."

The cabinet sponsored the temporary law in 2003 when it became clear that tens of thousands of Palestinians were marrying Israeli Arabs and moving to Israel. (© Copyright 2005 Haaretz. 05/26/05)

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