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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
United Nations News Service (See also > DPI)
14 August 2003

UN anti-racism panel concerned by new Israeli marriage and citizenship law

14 August Concerned that a newly enacted Israeli measure on marriage and citizenship will adversely affect family life, an expert United Nations panel on anti-discrimination has urged the Knesset to revoke the law, which effectively bars Palestinians married to Israelis from living with their spouses in Israel.

The call for Israel's Parliament to reconsider the measure came as the Geneva-based UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) met in emergency session today to discuss the country's Temporary Suspension Order, which became law on 31 July, and suspends the possibility of family reunification in the cases of marriages between an Israeli citizen and a person residing in the West Bank and Gaza. The law is renewable for one-year periods.

The 18-member Committee - which monitors governments' efforts to uphold treaty obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination - issued a decision expressing its concern about the order, noting that it has already adversely affected many families and marriages. It said that Israel, a State Party to the Convention, should revoke this law and reconsider its policy, with a view to facilitating family unification on a non-discriminatory basis.

The emergency meeting was called at the mid-way point of the Committee's twenty-third session, underway in Geneva since 4 August. Stressing that the Temporary Order "raises serious issues" under the Convention, the Committee requested Israel to provide detailed information on the matter in its next periodic report on national anti-discrimination efforts.

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