The Israeli government approved on Sunday the extension of a law that places restrictions on the reunification of Palestinian families for a further year "due to security considerations".
The law in question, which was presented by Israel's Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, has a specific impact on segments of the Palestinian community living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Foreign nationals from "hostile states" who are believed to put the security of Israel at risk are also targeted, claims Israel Radio.
According to the law, a Palestinian spouse is prevented from obtaining Israeli citizenship or a residence permit to live with his or her marital partner who is already an Israeli citizen. The rule would not apply if the non-Israeli husband is older than 36 years or the non-Israeli wife is older than 26.
Israel's security agencies are claiming that there are fears that Palestinian organisations could use marriage to Israeli citizens to get Palestinians into Israel to work for them. They allege that 38 violent operations were carried out by Palestinians holding Israeli identity cards which were obtained as a result of family reunification.