The long-awaited Israeli law to strip terrorists and their families of their Israeli citizenship passed its second and third reading on Wednesday in the Knesset.
The legislation was passed with 94 votes; all ten Israeli Arab Knesset members voted against the measure, which was supported by the opposition.
The bill empowers the Interior Minister to revoke citizenship or temporary residence status of those who are convicted of terror and other security offenses, and may also be applied to the families of terrorists who receive “pay for slay” monthly stipends from the Palestinian Authority government.
Under the new law, the Interior Minister is also be empowered to act against terrorist convicts who do not have a secondary citizenship elsewhere, as long as they have a permanent residence status somewhere outside of Israel; it also enables Israel to deport terrorists and their families to the Palestinian Authority.
The Interior Minister is required to hold a hearing before revoking anyone’s citizenship.
“Today we took another step in the fight against terrorism,” said Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer, one of the law’s initiators.
“The law I passed today is a closure order for the terrorist camp funded by Abu Mazen! From now on every terrorist will know that he will pay a heavy price for harming the citizens of Israel.”
The Palestinian Authority officially allocates seven percent of its annual budget for its so-called “Martyr’s Fund,” the “pay for slay” funding that provides generous monthly stipends to Palestinian Authority terrorists in Israeli prisons, and the families of those killed while attempting to murder Israelis.
The size of the monthly payouts depends on the number of Israelis killed, the length of incarceration and the size of the terrorist’s family.
Under the Trump Administration, the issue became the impetus for the so-called Taylor Force Act, which ended US aid to the Palestinian Authority until its government ceases its “pay for slay” policy. The law was passed in response to the 2018 murder of Taylor Force, a US veteran murdered by a Palestinian Authority terrorist during a stabbing attack in Jaffa (Yafo). Force was visiting Israel at the time.
TPS contributed to this report.