New Israeli law strips citizenship from convicted terrorists who are paid by the Palestinian Authority


(JTA) — Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, voted overwhelmingly to strip citizenship from people who are convicted of terrorism and receive a stipend from the Palestinian Authority.

The bill passed 94-10 on Wednesday, with opposition coming from some Arab lawmakers. The lopsided vote in favor of the measure stands in stark contrast to other more controversial proposals from Israel’s right-wing government that have come amid a recent escalation in terror attacks. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right politician, supports giving some convicted terrorists the death penalty and is pushing for a broad Israeli military campaign to root out Palestinian terrorism.

According to the law, any Israeli citizen or resident who is convicted of a terrorism charge and receives financial support from the Palestinian Authority, which governs some Palestinian areas of the West Bank, can be deprived of their citizenship and deported to either the West Bank or Gaza.

Israeli press reports did not specify how many people the law may apply to. Because Jews who are convicted of terrorism do not receive Palestinian financial support, the law will not apply to them.

“A terrorist who receives money from the Palestinian Authority should fly from here to Gaza, anywhere else,” said Likud lawmaker Ofir Katz, the bill’s lead sponsor, according to the Times of Israel. “Do not stay here.”

But Arab-Israel lawmaker Ahmad Tibi, of the Hadash-Taal party, said the law encouraged “Jewish supremacy” and that according to its terms, “An Arab who commits an offense is a conditional citizen.”

The Palestinian Authority pays monthly stipends to the families of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel or killed while committing violent attacks; Israel and its advocates decry the payments as an incentive for terrorism.

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