Israel's new government has failed to extend the country's contentious citizenship law
6th July, 2021
Israel's parliament has failed to enact an extension to a disputed law that prevents Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza from marrying Israelis from obtaining citizenship.
The vote was tied 59 to 59 after a long debate that lasted all night. It was Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's coalition's first big political test since taking office in June. The discriminatory legislation is set to expire at the end of Tuesday, according to critics.
Mr. Bennet framed the citizenship bill vote as a show of support for his new ideologically diverse government, which comprises left-wing, centrist, right-wing, and Arab parties. He had thought that a Monday compromise would be approved.
To embarrass Mr Bennett, who leads the right-wing nationalist Yamina party, right-wing opposition MPs who had previously backed the measure, led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, voted against it.
Critics, on the other hand, feel it is motivated by a desire to keep Israel's Jewish majority. Thousands of Palestinians who were previously unable to claim citizenship rights due to their marriage to Israeli citizens may now be able to do so.