Human rights groups term new Israeli law against couples as ''racist''
Israel's parliament passed a measure Thursday that would force Palestinians who marry Israelis to live separate lives or move out of Israel. The Israeli government said the law was vital to prevent "terror" attacks, but critics called it racist.
The law, to be in effect for one year, would prevent Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who marry Israeli Arabs from obtaining residency permits in Israel.
Israel's government cited instances in which Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza have exploited their residency permits to carry out attacks in Israeli cities.
The vote was 53 in favor, 25 against and one abstention. Israeli Arabs were outraged.
Local and international human rights groups have condemned the law as racist. "This is a racist law that decides who can live here according to racist criteria," said Yael Stein from the Israeli rights group B'tselem.
Two New York-based rights groups, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, sent letters to the parliament protesting the law and urging lawmakers not to pass it, a statement from Human Rights Watch said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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