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Interior minister moves to revoke citizenship of car-ramming suspect

Aryeh Deri also says he won’t renew residency of father of Israeli Arab man charged with attacking 4 Israeli soldiers in October

Suspect Alaa Raed Ahmad Zayoud at Haifa Magistrate's Court (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
Suspect Alaa Raed Ahmad Zayoud at Haifa Magistrate's Court (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri on Sunday said he filed a request with the Haifa District Court to revoke the Israeli citizenship of an Arab man accused of carrying out a combined stabbing and car-ramming attack last October.

Alaa Raed Ahmad Ziwad was charged with four counts of attempted murder after he drove his car into an Israeli soldier, seriously injuring her, and then stepped out of his car to stab three others on October 28. The attack took place on Route 65 near the entrance to Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, northeast of Hadera, in the midst of a wave of stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks.

Deri on Sunday said he began the process of revoking Ziwad’s Israeli citizenship immediately after the attack, after the move was green-lighted by the attorney general.

Ziwad is a resident of the Arab Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm.

“Revoking citizenship is a rare, serious step but we must respond forcefully against anyone who harms the state’s security and its residents,” said Deri in a statement.

File: Minister of Interior Affairs Aryeh Deri gives a statement to the media during a conference at the Ramada hotel in Jerusalem, on March 30, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri during a conference at the Ramada hotel in Jerusalem, on March 30, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The interior minister and leader of the Shas party also said he recently informed the family that the ministry would not renew the residency of Ziwad’s father, who appears not to be an Israeli citizen, “and I clarified that the relatives of the attackers also bear responsibility for their [the attackers’] actions,” he said.

In October, Ziwad admitted to investigators his attack was “nationalistically motivated,” a police term indicating a terror attack. His confession marks a retraction from his initial claim that the attack was an accidental car collision, and the stabbings an act of self-defense after he was attacked by onlookers.

In his testimony, Ziwad told investigators he wished to kill himself by killing Jews.

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