On Thursday, March 10, 2022, Israel’s Knesset passed the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order).
The law, effectively barring Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza who are married to Palestinian citizens of Israel from gaining citizenship or residency, was passed by a 45-15 majority vote.
The so-called Citizenship Law was passed in 2003 as a temporary security order. It was renewed on an annual basis until July 2021, when Israel’s fragile coalition failed to marshal the votes to pass it in a dramatic pre-dawn vote.
While Israel claimed the law was passed for security reasons, it is believed that the law was passed on racist grounds to prevent Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza who marry Palestinians or Israeli Jews from becoming Israeli citizens in order to maintain a Jewish majority in Israel.
The new temporary order explicitly affirms that its purpose is to ensure a Jewish demographic majority.
Rights groups have long warned of the seriousness of the law, which the Israeli government claims was enacted for security reasons. Palestinians consider the law racist.