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Israel Cabinet Amends Citizenship Law; Acts on Jerusalem Crisis

An extraordinary Cabinet meeting last night approved an amendment to the Israel citizenship law empowering the Minister of Interior to “prevent the immigration of persons who may endanger the public security.”

A Cabinet spokesman explained that the bill was so worded that it could not be misused for political purposes. He said it was aimed at keeping professional criminals out of Israel, adding that the government suspects that Jewish criminals abroad are sometimes released from prison on condition that they leave for Israel.

The Cabinet also approved the draft of an ordinance which gives the Minister of Interior the power to dissolve a municipal council upon the recommendation of a special commission of inquiry. Although the measure does not mention Jerusalem, it was drawn up in accordance with the recommendations of a commission which investigated Jerusalem’s current municipal crisis. At present, the Minister may only dissolve a municipal council if it acts illegally or if it permanently lacks a quorum.