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Israel: bill to revoke Arab prisoners' citizenship if they receive PA aid 

A general overview of a meeting held in Knesset, Israel on October 3, 2019 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]
A general overview of a meeting held in the Israeli Knesset on 3 October 2019 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images]

Members of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, have proposed a bill which would revoke Israeli citizenship for Arab prisoners who receive financial aid from the Palestinian Authority, Anadolu Agency has reported. While Palestinian Arabs who live in Israel have citizenship of the state, those who live in occupied Jerusalem, claimed by Israel as its capital, are provided with residence permits.

Eighteen members of the Knesset signed the bill, representing the Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas, Yesh Atid and Blue and White parties. The bill was initiated by Likud's Avi Dichter MK.

If passed into law, this would empower the Israeli interior minister to revoke the citizenship or cancel the residence permit of any Arab Israeli prisoner held on security-related charges if they agree to receive financial aid from the PA, whether directly or indirectly. The PA provides prisoners and their families with monthly stipends.

Israel and the US have been putting pressure on the PA to stop this financial assistance, because they say that it "encourages terrorism". The PA insists on paying it. In response, the Israeli government last year withheld $140 million in import duty collected on behalf of the PA on goods bound for the occupied Palestinian territories through Israeli border posts and ports.

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