Israel urged to reject revocation of convicted Palestinian’s citizenship

Two Israeli human rights groups have urged a court to reject a request by Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to revoke the citizenship of a Palestinian convicted of attempted murder.

Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel submitted arguments to the Haifa District Court on 22 December 2016, on behalf of Alaa Zayoud, who was sentenced to 25 years last June for a car ramming attack the previous October.

If his citizenship is revoked, Zayyoud will become stateless as neither the interior minister nor the attorney general provided an alternative citizenship status for him, “in contrary to the provisions of the Israeli Citizenship Law as well as the requirements of international human rights law.”

The organisations have also demanded the cancellation of a 2008 amendment to Israel’s Citizenship Law that authorises the court to approve requests from the interior minister to revoke the citizenship of Israeli citizens for “breach of loyalty”.

According to the groups, this amendment “is being applied in a discriminatory manner against Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel.”

The fact that this authority has never been employed against [Israeli] Jewish citizens who have carried out similar – or even more serious – security crimes testifies to the influence of outside considerations, arbitrariness, and to discrimination.

According to the press release: “International law explicitly and unequivocally opposes the revocation of citizenship, as established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which Israel signed in 1961.”