Israeli Minister Moves to Revoke Citizenship of Palestinian Charged with Murder

Israeli soldiers, joined by settlers, manning a military checkpoint in the West Bank. (Photo: File)

Israel’s Interior Minister and founder of the ultra-orthodox Shas party, Aryeh Deri, has officially begun the process of attempting to revoke the citizenship of a Palestinian citizen of Israel who has been accused of carrying out a “nationalistically-motivated” shooting in January, despite the fact that the trial and sentencing over the case has yet to begin.

Israeli news website Ynet reported on Monday that Deri sent a letter to Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, asking for permission to begin the revocation proceedings against 21-year-old Muhammad Shinawi, a resident of the coastal Israeli city of Haifa, who was charged earlier this month for two shootings on Jan. 3 that left one Israeli injured and another dead.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement at the time that Israeli police, in collaboration with the Shin Bet intelligence agency, carried out a joint investigation into both cases, and “strongly suspected that this was a terror attack.”

“The suspect…decided that he was going to carry out an attack and kill as many people as possible,” Rosenfeld wrote. “The suspect admitted to police investigators that he carried out the shooting attack with (a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle) that he had in his possession and that the attack was nationalistic.”

Israeli officials regularly use the terms “terrorism” or “nationalistic attack” when designating acts of violence committed by Palestinians against Jewish Israelis.

Ynet quoted Deri as saying that “there is no need to elaborate on the importance of Israeli citizenship, which carries with it the duty of loyalty between the citizen and his country and the country to the citizen.”

According to Ynet, there have only been three cases to date in which citizenship was revoked for “acts of terror,” due to the “complexity of the process.” The new site added that in his letter to Mandelblit, “Deri noted that there are two procedures for denying citizenship, either by appealing to Administrative Court or by a ruling from the court which originally held a hearing on the criminal procedure, in this case the Haifa District Court.”

Ynet added that Shinawi’s attorney, Sami Shalata, criticized Deri’s efforts, specifically for moving forward before the start of the actual trial and sentencing against the accused.

“In order to begin the process of revoking citizenship, you must wait until the end of proceedings, including conviction and sentencing. This is very far off. I think this kind of influence on the court in inexcusable, and I believe that our court system should act according to justice despite the pressures,” Ynet quoted Shalata as saying.


(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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