Because of the law, Arab citizens have few if any avenues for bringing spouses from the West Bank and Gaza into Israel. The policy affects thousands of families.

The law does not apply to the nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers who live in the West Bank, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and which the Palestinians want for their future state.

Under Israel’s Law of Return, Jews who come to Israel from anywhere in the world are eligible for citizenship.