An Israeli court revoked the citizenship of an Arab convicted of carrying out a 2015 terror attack, causing serious injuries.
The Haifa district court on Sunday rescinded the citizenship of a resident of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel who committed a car-ramming-stabbing attack in 2015. Four people were wounded, including two IDF soldiers, one of them seriously.
The attack took place near the town of Gan Shmuel in the Haifa District.
Terrorist Alaa Zayoud was convicted in the summer of 2016 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri then asked the court to rescind his Israeli citizenship, the Hebrew-language Ynet News website reported.
“Rescinding Zayoud’s citizenship is a measured and appropriate step,” wrote Justice Avraham Elyakim in his decision. “Every citizen has rights as well as responsibilities. One of these is the significant and important responsibility to remain faithful to the state – one way this gains expression is by refraining terror activities aimed at harming residents and state security.”
The ruling puts the security spotlight on Umm al-Fahm, an Israeli-Arab city with a population of 52,000, located southeast of Haifa, for the second time in three weeks. On July 14, three residents emerged from the Temple Mount and murdered two policemen adjacent to the Lion’s Gate entry to the Old City of Jerusalem.
“We must not allow Israeli citizens to threaten the lives and dignity of other Israeli citizens, and a person who does something like this removes himself from the citizenry of this country. Ziyoud took advantage of his freedom of movement in order to strike a blow to national security and to public safety. He tried to instill an atmosphere of fear and to take lives,” Elyakim stated.
Ynet reported that Zayoud told the court that he was not a terrorist, but rather that he lost control of his car.
Spokespeople for the Joint List Knesset faction, which represents the Israeli-Arab sector, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.