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February 12, 2014 11:07 am

Israel Approves Permanent Residency for 221 Foreign Children

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Ethiopian children waiting to make aliyah to Israel. Photo: Judith Friedman Rosen.

Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar on Wednesday approved permanent residency status in Israel for 221 children, aged eight to 23, who were born to foreign workers.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said most of the children were born in Israel and all had been integrated into the Israeli education system. Their parents came from Colombia, Congo, Germany, Ghana, Moldova, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, Turkey and the U.S.

The ministry said the 221 approvals nearly complete all dealings with the applications of foreign workers’ children that were submitted pursuant to the government cabinet’s August 2010 decision to approve their residencies.

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Interior Minister Sa’ar said, “In my decision, I took into account the considerable dealing with the applications of those children who grew up here and are, in practice, Israelis.”

“We also considered their not having been deported over the years since the cabinet decision and until the inter-ministerial committee completed its work,” he said. “The decision stems from a balanced and humanitarian approach that took into account Israel’s values as a Jewish and democratic state.”

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