Jerusalem Mayor: Revoke Citizenship of Terrorists' Families

Mayor Nir Barkat says Israel must be resolute in dealing with terrorists and family members who support them.

Olivier Fitoussi

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Friday called for Israel to revoke the citizenship of terrorists' families who support attacks against Israelis.

"We must be extremely focused [in or efforts] against evil people, to locate them and deal with them firmly," Barkat told Army Radio.

"I discussed the matter with the prime minister and the cabinet," he said, "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's mayor 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.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that the sister of one of the synagogue attackers works for the Jerusalem municipality, in its social services department. Barkat said she is a "valued, excellent employee" who has worked for the city for more than a decade.

Also on Friday, the head of the Silwan residents' committee, Fakhri Abu Diab, told Army Radio that demolishing terrorists' homes, which is meant to be a deterrent, only encourages more terror.