New York – The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed his concern over Israel’s recently ban on Palestinian families reunification.
In a press briefing issued on Thursday, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, stated that Guterres “has been following this long-standing issue.”
He added that Guterres “has taken note of the vote of the Knesset on the 10 March to pass a temporary order applying the law for 12 months.”
“The Secretary‑General is concerned about the impact of the law on Palestinian families seeking to reunify in Israel and East Jerusalem.”
“And in this connection underscores relevant concerns expressed by the UN human rights treaty bodies in the past.”
“Specifically, he calls on Israel to ensure that its domestic legislation respects the principles of equality, nondiscrimination, and proportionality and international human rights law.”
“And further facilitates family reunification of all citizens and permanent residents of Israel.”
Lately, Israel’s Knesset passed the so-called Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order), 2022, by a 45-15 majority vote.
It prevents Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza married to Palestinian citizens of ‘Israel’ from permanently moving to ‘Israel’.
It also prevents them from obtaining work, permanent residency and, ultimately, citizenship.
‘Israel’ claimed the law came for security reasons.
However, it is believed to be passed on racist grounds to prevent those Palestinians from becoming “Israeli citizens.”
This is in order to maintain a Jewish majority in ‘Israel’.
The law also prohibits the entry of Arabs from countries “hostile” to ‘Israel’ for family reunification purposes.
The countries include Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
Human rights groups have long warned of the seriousness of the law.
Palestinians, however, consider the law racist.
The so-called Citizenship Law was first introduced in 2003.
Palestinian citizens of ‘Israel’ are make up 20 percent of the population and would be gravely affected by the law.
Khaled Zabarqa, a lawyer and Palestinian citizen of ‘Israel’, said that “the law enshrines the apartheid regime into a Knesset legislation”.
“It is based on demographic reasoning to maintain a Jewish majority,” Zabarqa wrote on his social media account on WhatsApp.
“It constitutes an era to target the Arab presence directly, not just our family in the West Bank but also target us.”
‘Israel’ targets the Palestinian Arab population with 65 different government laws and regulations, according to Adalah.
Those laws came to ensure Palestinian Arabs do not prosper as a community.
Regarding Israel’s Tuesday killings of three Palestinians, including a 17-year-old child, the Secretary-General said, “We would urge these latest killings to be thoroughly investigated by the authorities.”