Interior Minister Eli Yishai intends to seek a court order revoking the citizenship of four Israeli Arabs who have lived in Arab countries since the 1970s and are alleged to have been involved in terrorist acts here or abroad, the Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday.
Bader Agbariyeh, an Umm el-Fahm lawyer representing the four men, recently applied to the ministry for Israeli passports on their behalf, which would enable them to reenter the country. All lived at one time in northern Israel but left at different times in the 1970s. They have since lived in various Arab countries, including those classified as enemy states, including Lebanon and Tunisia.
In response, Yishai announced that the four would be arrested if they arrived at the border. The ministry refused to divulge their names and Agbariyeh could not be reached by telephone. In 2002, while serving as interior minister, Yishai withdrew the citizenship of two Israeli Arabs in connection with hostile acts against the state.
At the time, the Citizenship Law authorized the minister to strip the citizenship of anyone who "committed an act involving breach of faith toward the State of Israel." However, the law was later amended to require the interior minister to petition a district court to revoke a person's citizenship if that person committed a breach of faith toward Israel. The person would also have to hold citizenship from another country.
Now if it could be proved the any of the 4 individuals had taken citizenship of another country I would be willing to along with revoking their citizenship under the conditions outlined for terror acts committed against the Israeli state, but until then, no. And before anyone goes ballistic on me, think of the case of Yigal Amir. If a conviction for murdering a Prime Minister of Israel isn’t a case deserving of having one’s citizenship revoked – then what is?