Israel Revokes Residency of Palestinians Accused of Deadly Attacks


Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said Thursday he has revoked the permanent residency permits of four Palestinians from east Jerusalem who allegedly killed Israelis in Jerusalem in recent attacks.

The rare move is yet another Israeli attempt to stem the nearly four-month wave of Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces, many of which were carried out by east Jerusalem residents.

The interior ministry named three of the Palestinians as Walid Atrash, Mohammad Abu Kaf and Abed Dawiat.

They are accused of stoning a car driven by 64-year-old Alexander Levlovich on September 13, causing it to veer off the road and into a tree, leading to his death.

The fourth Palestinian was Bilal Ghanem, who together with another Palestinian is accused of shooting and stabbing passengers on a bus on October 13.

That attack killed Chaim Haviv, 78, and Alon Govberg, 51, and fatally wounded Richard Lakin, a 76-year-old American-Israeli.

“This is a rare measure, but the severity of the deeds committed by the four justifies my decision,” Deri said.

“During the attacks, the terrorists took advantage of the freedom of movement they were entitled to as permanent residents with Israeli identification cards.

“From now on, all terrorists will know that their terror attacks will have consequences beyond imprisonment,” he said in a statement.

An interior ministry spokeswoman said that in the past decade, only four Palestinians from east Jerusalem had their residency permits revoked for deadly attacks on Israelis.

The spokeswoman said it was yet to be decided what the legal status of the four affected by Thursday’s decision would be, noting options such as a tourist or temporary work visa.

Twenty-four Israelis, an American and an Eritrean have been killed in Palestinian attacks including stabbings, car rammings and gunfire targeting security forces and civilians since October 1.

At the same time, 155 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, most while carrying out attacks and others during clashes and demonstrations.

Israel recently reinstated its controversial practice of demolishing homes of Palestinian attackers in east Jerusalem, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called “one of the most efficient tools” in discouraging Palestinian attacks.