Ministry of Interior (Israel)
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (November 2009)|
|This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
The Ministry of Interior (Hebrew: משרד הפנים, Misrad HaPnim; Arabic: وزارة الداخلية) in the State of Israel is one of government offices that is responsible for local government, citizenship and residency, identity cards (Hebrew: teudat zehut), and student and entry visas.
- Providing citizenship and permanent resident status.
- Issuing of entry visas and staying visas in the country.
- Inhabitants administration: personal registrations.
- Licensing the ownership of firearms.
- Local government, city councils and local councils supervision.
- Fire fighting and rescue services and emergency services.
- Planning and building supervising.
The Administration for Local Government and Administration
- Administration for Budgeting and Developing in the Local Authorities.
- Wing for Inspection in the Local Authorities.
- Administration of Planning.
- Administration of Borderchek points, Population and Immigration.
- Administration for Emergency Services and Special Tasks.
- Commissionership of Fire-Fighting and Rescuing.
- National Elections' Supervisor.
- National Unit for Building Supervising.
- Administration of Water.
The duty of the interior minister has been always a desirable duty in every government in the history of Israel, and the reason for that is that the Ministry of Interior has many authorities and much intensirt, particularly in designing the figure of the State of Israel.
Responsible for the population administration, the Ministry of Interior responsible for the personality registrations and decides who can immigrate to Israel in the framework of the [Rule of Return], and who can become a citizen in the framework of the Rule of Citizenship. In addition, the Ministry of Interior controls the status of permanent residents and issues visas to foreign workers.
Due to that, and due to its authority in the subjects of religion and state, the Ministry of Interior has become the main destination of parties whose platform has a main part with these subjects (National Religious Party, Shas, Yisrael BaAliyah, Shinui) that see the Ministry of Interior as a target and an excellent implement for executing their ideological outlooks in those subjects.
For the last years the Ministry of Interior has been criticized for arbitrary policies regarding foreign guest workers and Jewish converts. Interior bureaucrats are often accused of ignoring rulings by other state agencies and refusing to register converts as Jews.
In addition, The Ministry of Interior supervises all the local governments and due to that it has the power to appoint many workmen. A part of the Interior ministers used that for appointing faithful men and giving jobs to the party center.
Since the second intifada, the Ministry of the Interior has been exercising stricter control over the Occupied Palestinian Territories, most notably through limitations placed upon visiting professionals and academicians from the United States and other western countries. By controlling visas the Ministry of the Interior can regulate international presence in the region and control international involvement with the Palestinians.