Israel: new law will revoke citizenship of Arab prisoners

Middle East Monitor  /  April 15, 2021

A draft bill has been proposed in the Israeli parliament which, if passed into law, would see citizenship stripped from any Arab-Israeli prisoner who accepts a stipend from the Palestinian Authority. The PA pays such stipends to help prisoners’ families.

Knesset member Avi Dichter of the Likud and Orit Stook of the Religious Zionism party submitted the draft bill yesterday. The proposed legislation is aimed at any Palestinian or Arab Israeli citizen convicted of “terrorism” or “carrying out hostile acts”, reported, particularly Palestinian prisoners from occupied Jerusalem and Arab citizens of Israel itself.

According to the two MKs, their citizenship should be revoked even if they have completed their sentence in Israeli prisons. In addition, the bill proposes the deportation of these people from Israel or the territories it occupies and controlled by Israel to the areas controlled by the PA.

Anyone affected by this procedure would be allowed to regain Israeli citizenship if he or she renounces the pension and repays the money received while in detention and after release. Forty-two MKs signed the bill before it was submitted to the Knesset.

In October last year, Dichter proposed a similar bill. Only eighteen MKs signed that bill, which did not pass any readings in parliament.