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October 8, 2019 9:40 am

Israeli Interior Minister Announces Effort to Strip BDS Leader of Residency

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Omar Barghouti. Photo: Kevin Van Den, Flickr. – Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced on Sunday that he has asked the Population and Immigration Authority to prepare a legal opinion to be used in an effort to deport BDS founder Omar Barghouti from Israel.

“I intend to act quickly to deprive Omar Barghouti of residency status in Israel,” Deri said in a statement. “This is a man who does everything to harm the country and therefore must not enjoy the right to be a resident of Israel.”

Barghouti is not an Israeli citizen, but holds Israeli permanent residency status due to his marriage to an Israeli-Arab woman in Akko.

However, a 2018 amendment to Israel’s residency laws enables the interior minister to strip individuals of their residency status if they perform a serious breach of trust.

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Deri will attempt to show that Barghouti’s leadership in BDS constitutes such an offense.

Joint Arab List Party chairman Ayman Odeh railed against Deri’s announcement, asking “Who are you to deny the residency of this native or any other citizen? Denial of residency or citizenship is an anti-democratic act.”

He added that “we will defend our rights by whatever means available to us.”

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