Israeli court rules to revoke citizenship of convicted terrorist

Judge said Arab attacker who injured four people abused his citizenship rights and thus excluded himself from society.

August 6, 2017 17:30
2 minute read.
Stabbing in Kibbutz Gan Shmuel

Stabbing in Kibbutz Gan Shmuel. (photo credit: MDA)


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The terrorist convicted of a 2015 car-ramming and stabbing attack that seriously wounded four Jews at Kibbutz Gan Shmuel near Hadera in the North, had his citizenship revoked by a Haifa District Court judge Sunday.

The controversial ruling adheres to the recommendation of Interior Minister Arye Deri, filed last year, after it was approved by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.

On October 11, 2015 – at the beginning of the so-called “stabbing intifada” – Alaa Ziad of Umm el-Fahm, in Haifa, ran over and stabbed two soldiers and two civilians, one of whom was a 15-year-old girl.

Ziad was found guilty of four counts of attempted murder and last year sentenced to 25 years in prison.

In his recommendation, Deri called the attack a “manifest violation of faithfulness to the State of Israel,” adding that Ziad abused his citizenship to move freely within the country to carry out violence against Israelis.

Judge Abraham Elyakim, who presided over Sunday’s ruling, deemed the revocation of Ziad’s citizenship “a proper and proportionate step.”

“Every citizen has duties alongside his or her rights, which they must fulfill,” Elyakim stated. “One significant and meaningful duty is loyalty to the state, which includes the duty not to carry out terrorist activities that harm its safety and that of its residents.”

The judge continued: “Whoever decides to carry out terror attacks against the state and its subjects excludes themselves from the populace. Ziad abused his freedom of movement to harm the security of the state and the well-being of its residents in favor of taking lives and subjecting the state to an atmosphere of terror.”

Citing the High Court’s refusal to revoke the citizenship of Yigal Amir after he assassinated former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – called the court’s ruling “arbitrary, humiliating and connected to foreign considerations.”

“Even in the most grave case of murdering the prime minister, the High Court rejected a petition to revoke the citizenship of the murderer, Yigal Amir, in the name of defending the rights of a citizen,” the NGOs wrote in a joint statement last year.

In November of 2014, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Interior Ministry to evaluate revoking the citizenship of those who “call for the destruction of the State of Israel,” following a particularly grisly terrorist attack in the capital.

It remains unclear when or to where Ziad will be deported, or if Sunday’s ruling will be overturned before it goes into effect by the High Court of Justice on appeal.

Jerusalem Post staff and Jeremy Yonah Bob contributed to this report.

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