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The new government of Israel does not broaden the law of controversial citizenship

Israel’s parliament has failed to enact an extension to a contentious law that prevents Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza from marrying Israelis from obtaining citizenship.

The vote was tied 59 to 59 after a long debate that lasted all night.

It was Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition’s first big political test since taking office in June.

The discriminatory legislation is set to expire at the end of Tuesday, according to critics.

Mr. Bennet framed the citizenship bill vote as a show of support for his new ideologically diverse government, which comprises left-wing, centrist, right-wing, and Arab parties.

He had thought that a Monday compromise would be approved.
However, in a dramatic late-night session, 59 members of parliament voted for it and 59 against it, with two abstentions from the United Arab List, a coalition party that represents Israel’s Arab minority.

To embarrass Mr. Bennett, who leads the right-wing nationalist Yamina party, right-wing opposition MPs who had previously backed the measure, led by former leader Benjamin Netanyahu, voted against it.

The Citizenship and Entry Law was first passed in 2003, during the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, when Palestinian militants were attacking Israelis inside the country.

Since then, the authorities have renewed it each year, claiming security concerns.

 

Critics, on the other hand, feel it is motivated by a desire to keep Israel’s Jewish majority.

 

Thousands of Palestinians who were previously unable to claim citizenship rights due to their marriage to Israeli citizens may now be able to do so.