Israeli authorities are considering stripping 12 Palestinians of their permanent residency status in occupied East Jerusalem, in what would reportedly be the first use of recently adopted legislation.
According to Haaretz, Interior Minister Arye Dery is weighing up the move, in light of the law passed two weeks ago, which grants him the authority to strip any permanent resident of his residency rights, for ‘terrorism’ or ‘disloyalty’ to the State of Israel.
The 12 Palestinians in question include four Hamas-affiliated parliamentarians from the Palestinian Legislative Council, whose cases were the subject of a Supreme Court ruling that overturned a previous government decision to revoke their residency.
It was in response to that ruling that the Knesset subsequently adopted the new legislation.
The other eight Palestinians who may have their residency revoked have all been convicted by Israeli courts of involvement in “terror attacks”, Haaretz reported.
“Murdering Israelis and involvement in attacks against civilians is the gravest possible breach of faith between a resident and his country,” Dery said.
“The same goes for active, significant involvement in terrorist organizations. Residents and citizens who endanger the Israeli public and constitute a threat to its safety should know that their status is in danger, on top of the other penalties laid down by law. I will work with all my might and all the means at my disposal to fight terrorists and anyone who’s involved in or abets terror”.
Attorney Osama Saadi, who represents the four Hamas parliamentarians, said: “The amendment in question is unconstitutional, and even the attorney general opposed it. Moreover, the law states that in any case, it’s not possible to revoke the residency of East Jerusalem residents, who have a special status, and leave them without any residency”.
“We will petition the High Court on behalf of these four, who, as you’ll recall, have been waging a legal battle against the revocation of their residency since 2006 and won their petition a few months ago,” he added. “This amendment violates international law, and wholesale revocations, such as are happening today, show that this is a political law by a crazy government.”