A Drafted Reservist’s Testimony to the Knesset: “The Fight For Home Is Not Only in the Tank, I Fight It Every Day, Every Hour”

Today, representatives of the Israeli Association for International Couples participated in a discussion in the Knesset’s Immigration and Absorption Committee on the handling of visa applications submitted to PIBA between 2021-2023.

The committee hearing was convened with less than 24 hours’ notice and the association was asked by the committee’s management (which knows the association after participating in several discussions on the subject) to appear, and to point out concrete cases of the Population Authority’s poor handling of visa applications, and in particular the difficulties that were discovered in light of the ongoing war.

The association forwarded ahead of time a list of problematic issues that must be discussed, for example, the prolonged closure of the Ashkelon office due to a rocket hit without offering an adequate alternative to the service, the refusal to attend partners of Israeli men and women who were drafted to the army without the Israeli’s presence, the inability of residents who were evacuated from their homes to receive visa services at the place of evacuation, and more.

In addition, the association brought to the committee the testimony of Nimrod, a commander in the reserves whose wife and two of his children have been waiting to receive the status they are entitled to for about a year and a half. Nimrod could not participate in the discussion via Zoom in real time, because he is on military duty, but he volunteered to send the committee a video telling his story, to which no one could remain indifferent.

Watch highlights from the discussion on our Facebook Page:

The chairman of the committee, MK Oded Forer, understood the problems and difficulties presented by the association and urged the authority to improve the quality of the service and solve the problems raised in the discussion. During the discussion, the representative of the Population Authority announced the re-opening of the Ashkelon office for scheduled appointments and the opening of another telephone information center during the month of January. Also, a follow-up discussion on the issue was scheduled in about two weeks.

The Israeli Association for International Couples thanks the chairman of the committee and the committee’s management team for holding this important discussion, accepting inquiries on behalf of the association, and putting the difficulties of Israelis and their partners who are undergoing status adjustment procedures, on the parliamentary agenda.

We will continue to update on any further developments.

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Adv. Lior Beres
Articles: 61

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