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Israel passes law allowing deportation of Palestinian prisoners

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New law will make it easier for authorities to revoke citizenship and residency of Palestinians in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem.

Occupied East Jerusalem – The Israeli parliament has passed a law making it easier for authorities to revoke citizenship and residency from Palestinians imprisoned over Israeli-designated “acts of terror” and who receive financial assistance from the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The final reading of the bill, which for the first time stipulates the deportation of Palestinians to the occupied territories, was passed in the Israeli parliament – the Knesset – on Wednesday afternoon by a vast majority of 94 votes in support, and 10 against.

Under the law, a Palestinian citizen of Israel or a Palestinian in the occupied and illegally annexed East Jerusalem who holds Israeli residency can be stripped of their status after being convicted or charged for an “act of terrorism” and receiving money from the PA.

The PA, which governs the occupied West Bank, provides financial aid to families of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, as well as those killed or seriously injured by Israeli forces.

“This law represents a very dangerous escalation. It only deepens the apartheid system that is in place and creates separate laws for Palestinians and Jews,” Salam Irsheid, a lawyer at the Haifa-based Adalah Legal Center, told Al Jazeera.

“It is a racist and arbitrary law and it puts the citizenship and residency of Palestinians in danger and constant threat,” she added.

Israeli law already allows the revocation of citizenship and residency of Palestinians in Israel and Jerusalem based on acts that constitute “a breach of loyalty to the State of Israel”. It defines “breach of loyalty” to include an “act of terror,” assistance or solicitation thereof, or “taking an active part” in a “terrorist organisation,” among other things.

“They are punishing people multiple times over things they have already been charged and sentenced for,” said Irsheid.

An “act of terrorism” is defined broadly under Israeli law and includes “serious harm to property” or “to public safety or health,” and even “a threat to carry out such an act,” so long as they are committed for “political, religious, nationalistic or ideological motives”.

It is unclear how many Palestinians this will apply to, and whether the law will be applied retroactively to include those who have served their sentences and have since been released.

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Article source: Aljazeera

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000