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Israel seeks to withdraw citizenship from Azmi Bishara

Image of former Arab Member of the Knesset Azmi Bishara [The New Khalij]

The Israeli Minister of Interior Affairs, Aryeh Deri, has officially asked the Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, to withdraw citizenship from former Arab Member of the Knesset Azmi Bishara.

Israel accuses Bishara of “communicating with an enemy state in time of war, helping an enemy state and cooperating with terrorist organisations, while he was still a member of the Knesset.”

According to human rights activists, the charge of “communicating with the enemy in time of war, breach of trust, supporting a terrorist organisation and acting against state security” are among the charges that may lead to a death sentence in Israel.

Read: Knesset gives green light for phone taps on security officials

Since 2007, the Israeli judiciary has been prosecuting Bishara on security charges, forcing him into exile. Demands to prosecute Bishara increased following the failure of attempts to prevent him from running for the Knesset since the Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Intifada, the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, and following the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006. The main reason was Bishara’s declared attitudes, especially the right of the occupied people to resist the occupation, and his refusal to consider Syria and Lebanon enemy states.

If the request is granted, it will be the first time Israeli citizenship is revoked.

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