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Sabra Express | One Way Ticket

Israel Hayom, January 31st, 2023


Recap:

A proposed law to revoke Israeli citizenship of terrorists receiving compensation from the Palestinian Authority (PA) moves to the next stage.


The Context:

· The proposal comes less than a week after a synagogue shooting in Jerusalem that left seven dead and three injured. Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians are escalating as Israel intensifies its operations on militants in the West Bank. This week also saw an exchange of rocket fire between Hamas-controlled Gaza and Israel [1].

· The PA pays monthly stipends to Palestinians for carrying out terrorist attacks against Israelis, a practice commonly known as pay for slay, shelling out an estimated $157 million in 2021 [2]. 70% of all terror convicts receiving stipends from the PA are Israeli residents [3]. Lawmakers argue that the payments make the PA legally liable for the convict [4] and Israel has previously offset pay for slay dollars from tax revenue it collects on the PA’s behalf.

· The plan, which garnered rare cross-Knesset support [5], will strip terrorists of Israeli citizenship and release them to Palestinian controlled territory upon completion of their prison sentence. Although a similar law exists, the process is long and uncertain whereas the new bill would take about 6 weeks. Other actions under deliberation include stripping a terrorist’s family of social security and health benefits, expedited home demolitions, and the strengthening of West Bank settlements [6].

· PA president Mahmoud Abbas blamed Israel for the recent spike in violence and suspended security cooperation with Israel – a step taken before with limited success [7]. Asked if the bill would strengthen PA rival Hamas, MK Bezalel Smotrich said, “as long as the PA encourages terrorism, what interest do I have in helping it exist?”


Conversation Points:

· Why did this bill pass with an overwhelming majority and not fray along party lines?

· Why might this bill serve as a deterrent to potential terrorists?

· Is it justified to revoke an individual’s citizenship?


Notes:

4. Ibid.

7. Ibid.


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