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September 9, 2016 5:38 pm

Egyptian Court Rules: Marriage to Israeli Grounds for Stripping of Citizenship

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The Taba Border Crossing between Israel and Egypt. Photo: NYC2TLV via Wikimedia Commons.

The Taba Border Crossing between Israel and Egypt. Photo: NYC2TLV via Wikimedia Commons.

An administrative court in Egypt has ruled that the country’s Interior Ministry must strip the citizenship of Egyptian nationals who have married Israelis, Ahram Online reported on Thursday.

The ruling, the report said, cited the need to protect Egypt’s national security.

The court case stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Shaimaa Amin, who demanded that her brother, who has resided in the United Kingdom for the past 12 years, be stripped of his citizenship because he married an Israeli woman and had children with her.

Amin, according to the report, claimed that her brother held views “that do not suit Egyptian society.”

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In its ruling, the court said, “It is crystal clear how the occupation state of Israel discriminates racially against all those who are not of Jewish origin. The defendant should have worked hard to make his wife and son give up their Israeli nationality and come to live in Egypt.”

The Ahram Online report said Amin’s brother justified his decision to marry an Israeli woman by saying that “Israel was a defender of human rights unlike the Arab states and was contributing to improving the world and fighting terrorism.” He was also reported to have said that his marriage to an Israeli provided him and his family a secure future.

The report said that the latest court ruling was in line with two previous rulings issued on the matter in 2010 and 2015.

According to the report, it is estimated that thousands of Egyptian men are married to Israeli women — mostly from the Jewish state’s Arab minority community.

In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel, though the relationship was at times strained over the years. However, Israel-Egypt ties have improved since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi took power in Cairo in 2013, after ousting his predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

With shared regional interests — including the containment of Iran and combating ISIS in the Sinai and Hamas in Gaza — relations between Israel and Egypt have continued to blossom.

In July, as reported by The Algemeiner, Sameh Shoukry became the first Egyptian foreign minister to visit Israel since 2007.

However, as The Algemeiner reported last month, normalization of the relationship with Israel remains a sensitive topic for much of the Egyptian public.

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