The Knesset passed a law Wednesday allowing the interior minister to revoke the permanent residency status of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem who engage in terror or other anti-Israel activities and any permanent residents involved in such acts. Under the law, the state can deport anyone whose residency status is withdrawn.
The government-sponsored law specifies three situations in which the interior minister can revoke permanent residency: If the status was granted under false pretences, if the resident endangered public safety or security, or if he betrays the State of Israel.
The law applies to all permanent residents, whether they are recent immigrants or long-time residents of East Jerusalem. Under the law, the interior minister must grant an alternative status to a person whose residency was revoked if the individual cannot be permanently resettled in another country.
The law was drawn up after the High Court of Justice last year overturned the revocation, more than a decade ago, of the permanent residency status of four East Jerusalem men.
In January 2006, Mohammed Abu Tier, Ahmad Attoun and Muhammad Totah were elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council as representatives of the Hamas party. The fourth man, Khaled Abu Arafeh, was the minister for Jerusalem affairs in the short-lived government of Ismail Haniyeh. Then-Interior Minister Roni Bar-On rescinded their residency on grounds of disloyalty to Israel.