The immediate relatives of new olim who made aliyah in the past four years will be allowed to enter Israel to visit their relatives beginning next month, according to a decision by the Interior Ministry on Wednesday.
The issue of relatives from abroad visiting new olim was brought up in the Knesset’s Aliyah and Absorption Committee after a number of MKs received requests from new olim regarding the issue due to Israel’s months-long ban on visitors during the coronavirus pandemic.
Parents, grandparents, children, and siblings of new olim will be allowed to enter Israel for visits sometime in mid-December, in four weeks. The exact date and other details have not yet been finalized.
Likud MK David Bitan, who proposed the measure together with Yesh Atid MK Yorai Lahav Hertzanu, said that Interior Minister Aryeh Deri approved the measure but requested that its implementation be delayed for a month due to the current virus situation in Europe and the U.S.
Although Israel’s legal definition of new olim are immigrants who arrived in the previous ten years, the Interior Ministry made a decision to limit the new regulation to those who immigrated in the past four years in an effort to limit the number of non-Israeli citizens entering the country during the pandemic. The four-year stipulation was a compromise between the Interior Ministry, who preferred a two-year stipulation, and the MKs, who requested a ten-year stipulation.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)