The Interior Ministry has proposed an amendment to the citizenship law that would allow the revocation of the citizenship of Israelis who have “violated their loyalty to the country,” even if they are not located within Israel, according to a statement on Thursday by the Population, Immigration and Borders Authority.
The new amendment would allow Israel to annul the citizenship of Israeli Arabs who have left the country to join ISIS, and whose whereabouts are unknown.
There are currently more than 10 Israeli citizens who are fighting with the group, PIBA said in a statement on Thursday to announce the new measure.
The amendment could also apply to certain criminal offenses, PIBA said, without saying which.
In the statement put out by PIBA on Thursday, Interior Minister Arye Deri is quoted as saying that the amendment “is important because recently we have seen more and more Israeli citizens exploiting their citizenship and carrying out actions against the state.”
As the law currently stands, the Interior Ministry cannot cancel the citizenship of a person who is not within the country’s borders.
The measure is meant “to prevent situations wherein a person with Israeli citizenship commits an act that would justify canceling their citizenship, but would remain immune simply because they are not within the borders of Israel.
In recent years Israel has seen a series of cases of Arab citizens who have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State, as well as a significant number who have made their way to eastern Turkey in an attempt to join the group.
Officials from the Israel Police have expressed concern about the possibility that more Arab citizens of Israel will be drawn to the ideology of ISIS and other jihadi groups, and be inspired to carry out attacks inside Israel and beyond.