Netanyahu to Push for Bill to Revoke Residency of Terrorists and Their Families

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A relative of Ghassan and Udai Abu Jamal, cousins who killed four worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue, holds their pictures at her home in the Jerusalem district of Jabal Mukaber November 18, 2014.Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to present a bill in the near future that seeks to revoke permanent residency and social benefits of anyone who commits terror and serious offenses with nationalist motives and for their families.

Interior Minister Gilad Erdan said Saturday that he has asked his staff to look into how he can extend his powers and revoke the permanent residency and social benefits of East Jerusalem Arabs who encourage terror and incitement to violence.

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said Erdan’s proposal came following a meeting called by Netanyahu with Erdan and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, in which Erdan was directed to move ahead on the matter.

On Friday, Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat issued a similar call for Israel to revoke the citizenship of terrorists’ families who support attacks against Israelis.

“I discussed the matter with the prime minister and the cabinet,” Barkat told Army Radio, “and I think they understand it, and will examine how to revoke the citizenship of terrorists’ families, as well as how to act more decisively against those who incite, cause disturbances and throw stones.”

Barkat also addressed the recent decision by Ashkelon mayor Itamar Shimoni to impose a partial ban on Arab construction workers in local schools, saying it reminded him of dark days in Europe during the World War II era.

“We cannot generalize in the same way that was done to the Jews 70 years ago,” Barkat said. “Here, in Jerusalem, we have tens of thousands of Arab laborers. We must make a very clear distinction” between terrorists and law-abiding citizens.

Barkat urged Jerusalemites to continue employing Arabs, and commended the synagogue where this week’s deadly terror attack occurred for choosing to keep on its Arab workers.

Last Thursday, defense officials issued demolition orders for the homes of four Palestinians who committed terror attacks in Jerusalem in the past month – two for the synagogue attack last Tuesday that left five dead, one for an attack on the light-rail system that killed two, and one for attempted assassination of right-wing activist Yehuda Glick, the latter two last month.

The orders follow a pledge by Netanyahu to step up home demolitions as a punitive measure for a wave of attacks, many of them by residents of East Jerusalem. Attorney General Weinstein examined the application to demolish the families’ homes and found no legal obstacle, based on the principles set by the High Court, the Justice Ministry said.

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