Photo Credit: Flash90
Police inspect the scene where Alaa Ziyud, an Israeli Arab, drove over pedestrians and then stabbed them on October 11, 2015. / Flash90

Leftwing NGOs Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said in a statement Sunday that the Haifa District Court’s revocation of Alaa Ziyud’s citizenship, which will leave him stateless after he serves all or part of his 25-year prison term, was in contravention of international law. The two groups described the move as a “dangerous precedent,” vowing to appeal it in Israel’s Supreme Court.

On October 11, 2015, Ziyud, an Israeli citizen, ran over the soldier Orel Azouri and severely wounded her, then ran over another soldier who was standing at a bus stop at the Gan Shmuel junction. He then got out of his car and stabbed Azouri and two other people.

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Judge Avraham Elyakim wrote that “Ziyud took advantage of his freedom of movement to harm the security of the state and the welfare of its residents and sought to impose an atmosphere of terror and take human lives.”

Adalah Attorney Sawsan Zaher and ACRI Attorney Oded Feller said in a statement that it is no coincidence that the concerned individual is an Arab citizen: “There has never been a request to revoke the citizenship of a Jewish citizen, even when Jewish citizens were involved in serious and grave crimes,” they stated.

“Unfortunately, the court today did not follow the lead of the Supreme Court which refused to order the revocation of the citizenship of Yigal Amir, assassin of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and ruled that criminal law is the method by which serious crimes are confronted and denounced.”

A 2008 amendment to Israel’s Citizenship Law authorizes the court to approve a request from the interior minister to revoke the citizenship of Israeli citizens for “breach of loyalty.”

According to the NGOs, which plan to argue the same point before the Supreme Court, “the revocation of citizenship has grave consequences given that the right to citizenship is the basis for other constitutional rights, including the right to political participation and socio-economic rights. Such a move therefore would result in the violation of the other rights that are guaranteed by the right to citizenship.”

Adalah’s 2014 budget as of a 2016 report by NGO Monitor, was roughly $1.4 million, with donors including Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Bread for the World-EED (Germany), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (Switzerland), Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands), Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Christian Aid (UK), European Union, UNDP, and Open Society Foundation.

ACRI’s 2014 annual income as of a 2016 report by NGO Monitor was roughly $2.7 million, with donors including Donors include: EU, Norway, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands), Diakonia, Sweden, Christian Aid (UK), Bread for the World-EED (Germany), The Middle East Partnership Initiative (US), Germany, Oxfam, and Rosa Luxemberg (Germany).

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