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Israeli court refuses to revoke citizenship of terrorist

Israel’s Central District Court rejected the request of Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to revoke the citizenship of an Arab who bombed a Tel Aviv bus, saying the case was not “unusual or extreme” enough to warrant it.

Israeli police and rescue personnel at the scene of a bombing on a Tel Aviv passenger bus on Nov. 21 2012 . Photo by Tomer Neuberg/ Flash90.
Israeli police and rescue personnel at the scene of a bombing on a Tel Aviv passenger bus on Nov. 21 2012 . Photo by Tomer Neuberg/ Flash90.

Israel’s Central District Court on Sunday rejected the request of Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to revoke the citizenship of an Arab who bombed a Tel Aviv bus, saying the case was not “unusual or extreme” enough to warrant it.

Muhammed Mafarji and his father received permanent residency status in 1995, and he received Israeli citizenship in 2008. On Nov. 21, 2012, 18-year-old Mafarji detonated a bomb on a crowded Tel Aviv bus, wounding 24 people, two of them severely.

He was charged with intent to aid Israel’s enemies, attempted murder and causing severe injury, and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

But when Deri, in consultation with Israel’s Attorney General, requested that the court withdraw Mafarji’s citizenship because of his crime, the court responded that “when measuring acts of terror—most of which are brutal and criminal—what [Mafarji] did, though severe, is not unusual or extreme.”

Deri responded that the court decision “does not take the Israeli public’s emotions or those of terror victims’ families into consideration,” and asked “If placing an explosive device on a bus and injuring 24 people is not considered extreme enough, then what is considered extreme?”

He said he would appeal the decision.

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