A new bill in Israel sponsored by the Likud and Religious Zionism parties would revoke Israeli citizenship and residency for terrorists who receive payment from the Palestinian Authority for their actions.
Current Israeli law strips citizenship from those convicted of terrorism but allows them to retain their residency. The new bill would revoke terror convicts’ residency and prompt the release of Arabs receiving “pay for slay” wages from the P.A. into Palestinian zones.
“The bare minimum we can do as a moral country is to revoke their citizenship and residency,” said Knesset Member Simcha Rothman, of the Religious Zionism party.
The Knesset House Committee approved an exemption to expedite the bill’s passage through the Knesset by shortening the waiting time until the bill can be brought to the final vote. The bill received broad support from coalition and right-wing opposition members, but was condemned by Arab MKs.
Arab MK Ahmad Tibi opposed the bill, saying, “I suggest you add, for example, revoking citizenship from the prime minister’s murderer,” a reference to right-wing extremist Yigal Amir, who assassinated Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
Tibi said the new law would be unequal, as it would only apply to Arab-Israelis.
“You have the right to commit the worst crimes when you are Jewish,” he claimed.
Likud MK Hanoch Milwidsky responded that he “prefers Jewish murderers to Arab ones.”
Israel is not the only country to allow the revocation of citizenship for acts of terror. Other countries, such as Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom adopted similar legislation in recent years.
If the bill passes, it will allow Israel to strip both citizenship and residency from convicted terrorist Karim Younis, who was released from prison on Thursday.
Younis was convicted, along with his cousin, Maher Younis, of kidnapping and murdering Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980. Despite serving prison time since 1983 for the murder, the released convict promptly told his hometown of ‘Ara, “I am willing to give another 40 years of my life as a sacrifice for my people.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.