Jerusalem, 15 February, 2023 (TPS) — Knesset lawmakers gave final approval to legislation to strip Israeli citizenship from Arab terrorists and their families.
The legislation was passed with 94 votes, with 10 Knesset members, all from Arab parties, voted against. The legislation was supported by the opposition and was widely expected to pass.
The bill empowers the Interior Minister to revoke citizenship or temporary residence status for people convicted of terror and other security offenses. It could also be applied to families that receive terror stipends from the Palestinian Authority.
The Interior Minister will also be empowered to act against terror convicts who do not have a secondary citizenship elsewhere, as long as they have a permanent residence status somewhere outside of Israel. It also enables individuals to be deported to the Palestinian Authority.
The Interior Minister is required to hold a hearing before revoking anyone’s citizenship.
MK Oded Forer of the opposition Israel Beiteinu party, who was one of the law’s initiators, said, “Today we took another step in the fight against terrorism. The law I passed today is a closure order for the terrorist camp funded by Abu Mazen! From now on every terrorist will know that he will pay a heavy price for harming the citizens of Israel.”
The Palestinian Authority is legally mandated to allocate seven percent of its annual budget for its so-called “Martyr’s Fund,” which provides stipends to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons, and the families of terrorists killed in attacks. The size of the monthly payouts depends on various factors such as how many Israelis were killed, how long the terrorist has been incarcerated and family size.
Ramallah has been paying out stipends for years, but the issue came under a spotlight following the murder of Taylor Force, a U.S. citizen killed by a Palestinian who went on a stabbing rampage in Jaffa in 2018. Congress passed the Taylor Force Act, which halted U.S. aid to the Palestinians as long as terror stipends are being paid out