The Israeli parliament on Wednesday passed a law to strip terrorists of their citizenship for receiving financial rewards from the Palestinian Authority.
The new legislation, which received 94 votes in a 120-member Knesset, also gives the Israeli government the power to deport terrorists to the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank, as well as bar their reentry into Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government presented the bill after Israeli Arabs gave a “hero’s welcome” to a terrorist who was released after serving a 40-year prison sentence for kidnapping and murdering an Israeli soldier in 1983. Karim Younis, an unrepentant terrorist, “was greeted by family, friends and supporters chanting and carrying him through the streets on their shoulders,” the Jerusalem Post reported January 5.
The Arab Knesset members were enraged at the new legislation. They slammed the law for being “racist” towards convicted terrorists who happen to hold Israeli citizenship. “The decision, which could potentially affect hundreds of Palestinian citizens and residents of Israel, was condemned as racist by Arab lawmakers as well as Palestinian officials,” the left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz lamented.
“Knesset passes law to strip terrorists who receive PA stipends of Israeli citizenship,” by Carrie Keller-Lynn, The Times of Israel, February 15, 2023:
The Knesset approved a law on Wednesday to strip convicted terrorists with Israeli nationality of their citizenship — provided they receive funding from the Palestinian Authority or an associated organization.
The law, an amendment to Israel’s 1952 Citizenship Law, applies to both Israeli citizens and permanent residents incarcerated following a conviction for terror, aiding terror, harming Israeli sovereignty, inciting war, or aiding an enemy during wartime, and enables the interior minister to revoke their status after a hearing.
The law enables citizenship to be revoked even if the person lacks a second citizenship, provided they have a permanent residence status outside of Israel. Once citizenship is revoked, the person would be denied entry back into Israel. (…)
Registering rare cross-Knesset support, the law passed with the support of 94 MKs on its third and final reading, with 10 lawmakers voting against. While its main sponsor was Likud MK Ofir Katz, it also counted members of the opposition’s right-wing and center-left lawmakers among its cosigned supporters.
Heralding the legislative victory, Katz said that the law is “the dawn of a new era,” stating from the Knesset floor that” I know and feel from the bottom of my heart that such laws are our true mission as elected officials.”
“I say unequivocally, a terrorist who receives money from the Palestinian Authority should fly from here to Gaza, anywhere else. Do not stay here. He won’t be here,” Katz said.
The PLO-run Palestinian Authority operates a multi-million dollar “Pay-For-Slay” scheme, which hands out generous salaries and allowances to terrorists and their families. According to the Israel-based watchdog Palestinian Media Watch, the “Palestinian Authority Martyrs Fund” paid out around $150 million in 2020 alone.
The so-called humanitarian aid to Palestinians restored by the Biden White House — revoking President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to cut such funding, is also diverted to finance this “Pay-for-Slay” terror financing scheme, a Jerusalem Post article noted in April 2021. In 2022, Biden administration gave $316 million to the terrorist-ridden Palestinian Authority.