Israel broadens law to strip ‘terror’ convicts of citizenship

Israel expanded Wednesday its policy of stripping citizenship over “terrorism” offences, with parliament announcing lawmakers had passed legislation against those who receive funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The bill, which passed with 94 votes in favor and 10 against, also paves the way for Israel to expel people from country or annexed east Jerusalem.

Lawmakers approved “the revocation of citizenship or residency of a terrorist operative who receives compensation (from the PA) for committing an act of terrorism,” a statement from parliament said.

The PA gives stipends to numerous families of prisoners, or detainees themselves, including those convicted of killing Israelis.

“Our answer to terrorism is to hit it hard,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter following the parliamentary vote.

The law may affect hundreds of east Jerusalem Palestinians and dozens of Israeli citizens, according to Dani Shenhar, head of the legal department at Israeli rights group HaMoked.

“The threshold is very low, so we’re very worried about it, especially the effect on east Jerusalem,” he told AFP in January when the bill was tabled.

The majority of Palestinians living in east Jerusalem hold Israeli residency permits rather than citizenship.

The new legislation allows deportation “to the territories of the Palestinian Authority (in the occupied West Bank) or the Gaza Strip.”

Israel has previously stripped residency and citizenship, including that of French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri who was deported in December.

The Jerusalem resident had been arrested and jailed on several occasions by Israel, which revoked his residency permit.

In 2017, Israel announced it was stripping citizenship of 20 people who had allegedly joined the ISIS terrorist group.

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