Palestinians convicted of 'terror' acts could be expelled from East Jerusalem and Israel

Palestinians convicted of 'terror' acts could be expelled from East Jerusalem and Israel
The move comes as the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu works to clamp down on the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel.
2 min read
04 January, 2024
The Knesset approved revoking the citizenship or residency status of Palestinians convicted of carrying out attacks on Israel [Getty]

Israel's interior minister may soon be able to deport hundreds of Palestinians by cancelling their Israeli citizenship or revoking their residency status.

Israel's parliament last year passed legislation allowing for the deportation of Palestinian citizens of Israel or residents of occupied East Jerusalem if they are convicted of a terror act and have allegedly received compensation from the Palestinian Authority (PA) for committing it. 

The law has not been implemented because of a lack of precise information about individuals who have received monetary compensation from the PA.

The information needed comes from the National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing, which operates under the Israeli Ministry of Defence and compiles annual reports about money transfers made by the PA to Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks against Israelis. 

However, the data has since been made available, Israeli legislator Amit Halevy, one of the bill sponsors, told Israeli media earlier this week.

This means the interior minister can start revoking the citizenship of "hundreds of terrorists who are in jail or who have been freed and expel them from Israel", Halevy said. 

According to the law, the interior minister must consult with the justice minister before signing any deportation order, and individuals affected can contest the order in court. 

Israeli lawmaker Ofer Cassif from the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) dubbed the bill "fundamentally racist".

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"No one ever thought of revoking the citizenship of Jewish terrorists. Revoking citizenship or residency is a fundamentally wrong, anti-democratic, and evil injustice and has nothing to do with security or deterrence," Cassif said.

He warned that though the legislation currently takes aim at Palestinians, the target could soon expand to include dissenting Israelis.

"It will continue, and it will reach every opponent of the regime", he said.

According to rights group Adalah, there are over 65 Israeli laws that directly or indirectly discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) based on their ethnicity.  

The far-right government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has worked to severely curtail the rights of Palestinians living in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.