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Minister seeks to revoke Israeli Arab terrorists’ citizenship

Silvan Shalom asks AG to approve annulling rights of Arab Israelis involved in attacks against civilians

Israeli Border Police officers guard a checkpoint in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, on October 15, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israeli Border Police officers guard a checkpoint in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, on October 15, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom briefed Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein Thursday on a plan to revoke the citizenship of two Arab Israeli terrorists who recently carried out separate attacks against civilians.

Shalom told Weinstein he is seeking to revoke the citizenship of Alaa Abed Zyud, 20, from the Arab Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm, and of Isra Abad, 29, from Nazareth. The two carried out terrorist attacks in Gan Shmuel and at the central bus station in Afula, respectively. Ziwad was arrested, while Abad was shot dead at the scene.

“There is no need to elaborate on the importance of Israeli citizenship, which includes within it a duty of trust between the citizen and his country and the state and its citizens,” said Shalom. “All the more so when the citizenship is misused for the purpose of harming civilians and state security.”

If approved, the measure would be the first of its kind to be implemented against Israeli citizens.

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom speaks during an Immigration and Absorption Committee at the Knesset, Jerusalem, July 27, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Interior Minister Silvan Shalom speaks during an Immigration and Absorption Committee at the Knesset, Jerusalem, July 27, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Earlier this week, Shalom stated that the residency status of 19 East Jerusalemites accused of involvement in terror attacks would be revoked, as the government moved to implement a series of measures designed to crack down on a rash of terror attacks. The measure would deny their families welfare benefits they would have received from the state’s National Insurance Institute. A high percentage of the attackers involved in a recent wave of stabbings and other attacks have come from East Jerusalem, where many enjoy some Israeli rights as permanent residents but not full citizenship.

The move is one of several agreed on by the cabinet Tuesday night to step up efforts to crack down on the terror wave. Other punitive moves include immediate demolition of homes of terrorists’ families, as well as the deployment of soldiers to Jerusalem and other Israeli cities and checkpoints at the exits to some East Jerusalem neighborhoods.

The security cabinet also approved Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s proposal that Israel not hand over to their families the bodies of terrorists killed during attacks. Erdan suggested burying such terrorists in IDF cemeteries within Israel’s borders, where other terrorists have been buried in the past, thereby denying families the ability to visit the graves. Erdan said terrorists should not be honored with admiration and ceremonies after carrying out attacks.

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