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Parliamentary questions
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17 April 2014
Question for written answer E-005175-14
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 117
Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL) , Alda Sousa (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Family unification within Israeli territory
 Answer in writing 

When Israel’s Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) was introduced in 2003, the Commission claimed that the policy established, ‘a discriminatory regime to the detriment of Palestinians in the highly sensitive area of family rights’. The Commission also stressed that, ‘under the EU-Israel Association Agreement, Israeli respect for human rights constitutes an essential element of its relationship with the European Union’, and that the delegation was closely monitoring the situation.

Despite such scrutiny, however, the measure — initially introduced for one year — has continued to be renewed annually for the past decade. The ban on family unification was renewed last week for the 11th time.

As a result, Palestinians with West Bank or Gaza IDs remain divided from their spouses who hold Jerusalem IDs or Israeli citizenship. This policy leads to anguish and distress for thousands while serving the demographic aims of Israel by limiting Palestinian presence within Israeli territory, and in particular within illegally annexed East Jerusalem.

In light of the above, could the Vice-President/High Representative indicate:
1. what specific steps the EU has taken to pressure Israel to comply with its international obligations and end this discriminatory law?
2. the positive and precise outcomes that these steps have had on Israeli policy since the law’s introduction in 2003?
3. the EU’s response should the law be renewed again?
 OJ C 426, 27/11/2014
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