A wide range of policies and legal frameworks were set by the Israelis to discriminate against Palestinians and created to hinder family unification procedures. In 2003 the situation deteriorated: all family unification applications where frozen by an Israeli Ministerial Decree. The Israeli Knesset passed a bill into law which is called: The Nationality and Entry into Israel (Temporary Order) Law, 5763-2003. It nullified the procedures for family unification of citizens holding an Israeli passport or a Jerusalem ID with residents of the Palestinian Occupied Territories. Children born in the West Bank are forbidden under this law to live in Jerusalem or in Israeli with their family. After 14 years of the implementation of this “temporary order”, the law is still in force in 2017.
The Israeli Ministry of the Interior plays a major role in implementing such discriminatory policies. It is a policy which results in breaking up families, expelling people from their homes and separate children from their parents. It’s part of a larger plan aiming at displacing of Palestinians out of the city. Israeli authorities also intentionally delay and hinder family unification applications without any valid reasons aiming at making the lives of Palestinians difficult and unstable.
One of the victims of such policies is (F.A) a Palestinian citizen from Kufor Manda village (behind the green line) married to a resident from the West Bank since 2004. The couple has been trying to unify their family ever since, however the Israeli MOI has constantly denied their applications, which resulted in separating the family and distressing its social and financial stability. The father needed to obtain a visit permit in order to be able to visit his wife and four children; the couple even approached the Humanitarian committee in the Israeli MOI in an attempt to obtain a family unification, but to no avail.
By the end of 2016, the couple approached St. Yves for legal assistance as all of their previous attempts had failed; St. Yves’ lawyers immediately contacted the MOI but did not receive any response. St. Yves then petitioned to the court against the delay the MOI was causing to their applications without any legitimate reason. After a legal battle that lasted a few months, the couple finally obtained their family unification status and the six family members were united under one roof in the same city.