Israeli Vote on Citizenship for Palestinians Becomes Test for New Government


TEL AVIV—Israel’s parliament is expected to vote Monday on a temporary law that bars citizenship for Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza who are married to Israelis, the latest challenging issue that the new fragile coalition government must overcome.

The law, which was first enacted in 2003 and has since been renewed every year, expires Tuesday at midnight. Coalition parties worked to find a compromise before the vote, which will likely take place late Monday.

Israel’s left-wing and Arab lawmakers, including many in the current government, say the law discriminates against the country’s Arab minority. The right-wing parties, including that of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, say the measure is needed to maintain security and preserve Israel’s Jewish character.

Opposition factions, including former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, are debating whether to back a law that they supported for years on security grounds, or oppose it to frustrate the new government.

Mr. Bennett on Monday accused the opposition of choosing political maneuvering over state security.


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