Coalition defeat: Bennett government fails to pass Family Reunification Law

In a blow to the diverse new government coalition, a vote to pass the Citizenship Law was defeated 17-14.

By World Israel News Staff

The fledgling government headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Yamina) and Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) failed to obtain a majority Monday morning to pass the Citizenship Law.

Passed at the height of the Second Intifada in 2003, the law prevents Palestinians married to Israelis from automatically gaining citizenship in the Jewish State.

Introduced as a temporary edict that expires annually, the law has been extended for the last 18 years, with right-wing parties always voting in favor.

The new “change” coalition includes the left-wing Meretz and Islamist Ra’am parties together with the right-wing Yamina, New Hope and Israel Beyteinu. The law was defeated 17-14.

Later in the day, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will discuss the issue of family unification of Israelis with residents of Gaza and Judea and Samaria, and with citizens of enemy countries.

The law, intended to prevent Palestinians from gaining legal status in Israel, will be passed for a vote in the Knesset plenum, where an emergency mobilization of the coalition and the opposition is expected to decide the issue.

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Families who claim to have been harmed by the law are expected to demonstrate in front of the Knesset, Channel 20 reported. “Neither [Arab-Israeli Meretz Party Minister] Issawi Frej nor the United Arab List can bargain for our rights, period,” one of them said.