Israeli Supreme Court: The decision to withdraw the ID of Jerusalemite members of parliament is invalid
September 13, 2017

The Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision on Wednesday to revoke the decision of the former Israeli Minister of Interior to withdraw the IDs of Jerusalemite members of parliament and the former Minister of Jerusalem.

The Jerusalemite MPs are: Mohammad Abu Ter, Ahmad Aton (detained in prison), Mohammad Totah and the former Minister Khaled Abu Arafeh.

The judges confirmed during the hearing session that the Minister of Interior has no authority to withdraw IDs under the pretext of non-loyalty to the state or under the pretext of political trends, and therefore the decision was revoked.

The former Minister of Jerusalem, Khaled Abu Arafeh, said on his Facebook page that the Israeli Supreme Court gave the official parties 6 months to issue a new decision regarding the Jerusalemite MPs based on significant criteria, as if the Supreme Court is suggesting that the public prosecution should go to the Knesset to issue a law in this regard. It is possible that the MPs might enter into a new cycle with the prosecution and the court, and petition the court to issue a decision to bring the MPs back to their homes until a new decision is issued.

According to Abu Arafeh, the lawyers commented on the decision and explained that even if the Knesset issues a new law in this regard, t should not apply retroactively.

The former Israeli Minister of Interior had decided in 2006 to withdraw the IDs of three Jerusalemite MPs and the former Minister of Jerusalem after the elections of the Legislative Council, on the pretext of "disloyalty to Israel". Then, they were arrested and after completing their prison sentences in 2010, their official documents for residency were seized and they were asked to leave the city. They announced an open sit-in inside the Red Cross headquarters in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem, until they were arrested again in 2012.