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Law Restricting Palestinian Family Reunification Extended at Shin Bet's Request

More than 10 percent of last year’s terror attacks were perpetrated by members of Palestinian families who obtained Israeli citizenship or residence due to family reunification, security service says.

A Knesset panel on Wednesday recommended extending the law restricting family reunification for Palestinians by another year, at the Shin Bet security service's request.
The recommendation followed a discussion in which the Shin Bet said over 10 percent of last year’s terror attacks were perpetrated by members of Palestinian families who obtained Israeli citizenship or residence due to family reunification. The service warned that people applying for family reunification present a potential danger and could use their permit to stay in Israel to perpetrate attacks and engage in espionage. However, the Shin Bet's figures and conclusions were challenged by several opposition MKs.
Some 12,500 people in Israel are currently in the process of family reunification, a Shin Ben official said. In 2015 and the beginning of 2016 a significantly larger number of relatives of Palestinians who went through family reunification were involved in terror. In this period 30 such people were involved in terror activity, constituting 73 percent of the active terrorists with Israeli identity cards, he said.
During this period 237 attacks and attempted attacks were carried out, the official said.
MK Osama Saadia (Joint List) countered by saying that 29 of the 30 people involved in terror had obtained their status as a result of the law to annex Jerusalem, and not through family reunification.
The Shin Bet said that in 2001-2016, 104 individuals from among those who received legal status in Israel via family reunification were involved in terror activity. Some received their status by marrying Israeli spouses and 87 of them are relatives of people who gained residence due to family reunification.
Representatives of Hamoked — the Center for the Defense of the Individual said the overwhelming majority of those who gained legal status due to family reunification are children who were born in Israel, mostly in East Jerusalem.
MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) said no applicants for family reunification were involved in any activity endangering state security. “Not a single one. How is the Shin Bet’s argument different from Smotrich? The children born here could take a gun and carry out an attack? This proves that this law has no security consideration at all. It’s because you see a love story between Palestinians as a plot against state security,” Tibi said.
MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) said he was not impressed by the Shin Bet’s argument “that this group poses a special danger or that there’s an advantage to extend the law.”
MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union) said “this panel was formed to examine the law every year and try to improve it. Clearly from what we’ve heard it needs humanitarian amendments.”
The law was enacted in 2003 and since 2004 to 2015 has been extended annually.

Jonathan Lis
Haaretz Correspondent

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.722708Schermata 2016 06 03 alle 23.15.38

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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