The Israeli parliament approved an amendment to the country’s 1952 citizenship law on Wednesday, February 15, according to which Israeli citizens and residents of occupied East Jerusalem convicted of acts of “terrorism” will be stripped of their citizenship and deported.
The new law will apply to all Israeli citizens or residents who receive any financial support from the Palestinian Authority or its affiliated organizations, implying that only the Arab citizens of Israel will be subjected to the law, and not the Jewish population.
Israel terms most acts of resistance to its occupation of Palestinian territories “terrorism.”
Since its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem in 1980, Israel has provided resident rights to the Palestinians there.
The bill proposed by Likud MP Ofti Katz was approved by an overwhelming majority of the Israeli parliament, with MPs voting in favor across party lines. Out of a total of 120 MPs, 94 voted in favor, and only the 10 Arab MPs voted against it.
The new law allows Israel’s Interior Ministry, after a hearing, to revoke the citizenship or residency rights of a person and deport them to the occupied West Bank or Gaza. That person will not be allowed to enter Israel again.
Reacting to the law, Arab MPs called it “racist.” Hadash Ta’al MP Ahmed Tibi called it a “populist draconian law” carefully designed to be applied to Palestinians. He accused the Knesset of voting with the “feeling of Jewish supremacy,” Times of Israel reported.
Palestinians and other activists have called the law another example of the Israeli apartheid regime and institutional racism.
A related bill—concerning the revocation of the citizenship of family members of “terrorists” and their deportation—also received the approval of a majority of the Knesset on Wednesday during its first hearing, Jerusalem Post reported.