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I. Inheritance

Under section 3 of the Inheritance Law, 5725- 1965, any person may inherit from the deceased if that person was alive at the time of the death of the deceased, or was born within 300 days from the deceased’s death.[1] No distinction is made on the basis of gender.

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II. Transmission of Citizenship by Mother

Israeli citizenship is granted in accordance with the Nationality Law, 5712-1952.[2] The Law does not differentiate between a husband and wife for purposes of acquisition of citizenship based on marriage to an Israeli citizen subject to requirements under that law.[3] Similarly, acquisition of citizenship based on the legal status of a parent in accordance with the categories enumerated by the law does not differentiate between the parents based on their gender or marital status.[4]

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III.  Age of Marriage

Marrying, officiating, or assisting in the marriage of a minor in the absence of judicial authorization granted under special circumstances is a criminal offense punishable by two year’s imprisonment or a fine.[5] A minor is defined as a person who has not reached 18 years of age.[6] The law does not distinguish between males and females regarding criminal liability.

The criminal liability associated with the above offenses, however, does not affect the validity of the marriage, which is usually determined under the personal status law of the parties.[7]

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IV. Constitutional Provisions Related to Ensuring Gender Equality

Israel does not have a one-document constitution. Israeli laws are generally interpreted in accordance with the Proclamation of Independence, which provides that “[t]he State of Israel will . . . ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex”.[8] Laws regulating inheritance, transmission of citizenship, and age of marriage in Israel do not differentiate between persons based on their gender. Israeli law provides an array of protections against domestic violence.

In accordance with Israel’s Interpretation Law, 5741-1981, any reference to the masculine gender in a law equally applies to the feminine gender and vice versa.[9]

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V. Legal Provisions Addressing Domestic Violence

The Family Violence Prevention Law, 1991-5751, authorizes courts and religious tribunals to issue protective orders, order participation in treatment plans, and order the confiscation of weapons, in accordance with the requirements established by the Law.[10]

A marriage or family relationship does not constitute a defense against conviction for assault or sexual offenses under the Penal Law, 5737-1977.[11]

The Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Services (MLWSS), through nonprofit organizations and associations, operates several programs for the protection of victims of domestic violence, including shelters for battered women and transitional apartments. Referrals to these programs are made by social services departments, domestic violence prevention and treatment centers, and the police. The MLWSS also operates domestic violence emergency lines and victims’ aid centers for sexual assault victims, in addition to other programs.[12]

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Prepared by Ruth Levush
Senior Legal Research Specialist
February 2020


[1] Inheritance Law, 5725- 1965, SH 5725 No. 446 p. 63.

[2] Nationality Law, 5712-1952, SH 5712 No. 95 p. 146.

[3] Id. § 7.

[4] Id. §§ 2, 4, 4A, 4B, 8 & 9.

[5] Age of Marriage Law, 5710-1950, §§ 2 & 5, SH 5710 No. 57 p. 286.

[6] Id. § 1; Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law, 5722-1962, § 3, SH 5722 No. 380 p. 120.

[7] Age of Marriage Law, 5710-1950, § 3(a). For information on the marriage system in Israel see Ruth Levush, Israel: Spousal Agreements for Couples Not Belonging to Any Religion—A Civil Marriage Option?, Law Library of Congress, https://perma.cc/E6U8-SS92.

[8] Proclamation of Independence (May 14, 1948), Knesset website, https://perma.cc/S5SW-K2Z7.

[9] Interpretation Law, 5741-1981, §§ 1 & 6, Sefer HaHukim [SH] [Book of Laws (official gazette)] 5741 No. 1030, p. 302. This and other laws cited are as amended.

[10] Family Violence Prevention Law, 1991-5751, §§ 1, 2 & 2A-C, SH 5751 No. 1352 p. 138.

[11] Penal Law, 5737-1977, SH 5737 No. 864 p. 226.

[12] Protection and Primary Assistance to Victims of Domestic Violence, MLWSS, https://perma.cc/L96F-9UZF (in Hebrew).

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Last Updated: 02/25/2020