Travel to countries on the red list is currently prohibited, although permission can be gained through a special exemptions committee.
By Donna Rachel Edmunds, World Israel News
Thousands of British and American dual citizens who work abroad but live in Israel will be able to continue providing for their families following a vote in the Knesset to allow more exemptions to the current travel ban to red list countries. The rule change takes effect midnight Wednesday.
The changes are down to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee agreeing to amend the government’s list of red countries, to which a no-fly order is currently applied, only on condition that changes be made allowing duel citizens more freedom of movement for work and to visit family.
Travel to countries on the red list is currently prohibited to all, although permission can be gained through a special exemptions committee. This means that thousands of olim (immigrants) are unable to visit family at all except to for first-degree relatives in case of a humanitarian crisis.
The new rules mean that dual citizens who work abroad, or those with first- or second-degree relatives outside of Israel, are more likely to be granted exemption by the committee, allowing them to travel for work or to attend family events such as weddings, births and bar and bat mitzvahs. For the first time, grandparents will also be able to attend these events.
The government has drastically pared down the red list, removing 69 countries, including the vast majority of African nations, plus Italy, Germany, Ireland and others. Those countries now join the orange list of nations where travel is not advised, but not banned.
The full list of 16 countries still on the red list are: Botswana, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Hungary, Malawi, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
“From now on, once a week, there will be a follow-up discussion on the issue of entry and exit and we expect next week to receive a message that we have finished with the red list of countries or to receive an even shorter list,” Kariv said.