Israeli court orders mother of terrorist be given Jerusalem residency

Judge rules mother not responsible for actions of her son who tried to kill policeman, allows her residency application to continue.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The Jerusalem District Court granted temporary residency status in Israel to the mother of a terrorist who attempted to kill a policeman in the Old City five years ago, Israel Hayom reported Monday.

Judge Oded Shaham explained that depriving the mother, a resident of eastern Jerusalem, of residency due to her son’s actions is “a violation of the fundamental right to dignity.”

In the October 2015 attack, 17-year-old Mustafa Khatib tried to stab a policeman to death but was shot and killed in the attempt. The officer was lightly wounded.

After the incident, the Interior Ministry refused to process the mother’s application for permanent residency status on the grounds that the son’s act could not be separated from “his family environment, in which he grew up and was raised, an environment that contributed to shaping his personality.”

The mother is from a village in Judea and Samaria but married a Jerusalem resident and had applied for the highly coveted residency status.

Security officials also argued that the perpetrators of the attacks and their families should be deterred by not providing Israeli resident status to those who carry out terrorist attacks.

The Israeli left-wing NGO HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual represented the mother in court, claiming that the ministry’s decision was unfair because it was given for “improper motives and foreign considerations.”

Hamoked asked the court to force the state to give the mother permanent residency status, and the judge accepted the argument that she “has nothing to do” with her son’s actions and “should not be punished for them.”

The Interior Ministry was ordered to renew the woman’s temporary resident permit to enable her to complete the process of gaining permanent residency.

According to Justice Shaham, the Interior Ministry amounted to creating “inequality created between the status of the petitioner and the status of the rest of her family, all of whom are permanent residents.”

In addition, the court ruled that the minister’s decision in this case was an infringement on the fundamental right to dignity, because it contained a “punitive element for acts that the woman did not commit and is not responsible for.”

The decision was criticized by Meirav Hajaj, whose daughter Shir was killed in a 2017 terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

“I have read this delusional verdict several times and did not understand. Her son is a terrorist who tried to murder Israelis and we must give his mother permanent residency?” Hajaj tweeted.