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F.M. Lieberman’s ‘Loyalty’ Bill Clears First Hurdle in Knesset

The Knesset on Wednesday passed the first reading of a ‘citizenship loyalty’ bill proposed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party.

The bill, proposed by David Rotem MK, calls on Israel to revoke citizenship or permanent status from any person convicted of terrorist activity or of espionage on behalf of a terrorist organization.

Twenty MKs voted in favor of the bill, 10 against. It will now be amended by Knesset committees before a final parliamentary vote to become law.

The bill, which was proposed a few weeks ago, struck resonance with a ministerial committee that on Sunday approved the bill, following the arrest this month of Israeli Arab Ameer Makhoul on suspicion of spying for Hezbollah.

Ministers had already rejected two similar bills proposed by Yisrael Beitenu. One called on the government to strip prisoners convicted of terrorism of the right to vote; the other demanded preferential treatment to military and national servants for employment and education.

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