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Sat 5 Jun 2010 10:56 PM

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Egypt may revoke citizenship of those wed to Israelis

Rights activist said that ruling 'demonstrates mixed messages about Egypt-Israeli ties'.

Egypt may revoke citizenship of those wed to Israelis
CITIZENSHIP REVOKE: An Egyptian court has ordered the government to consider revoking the citizenship of Egyptians married to Israelis, if the marriage posed a threat to national security. (Getty Images)

An Egyptian court ordered the government on Saturday to consider revoking the citizenship of Egyptians married to Israelis if the marriage posed a threat to Egypt's national security.

The High Administrative court's ruling, which had been timetabled before the outcry over Israel's lethal raid on an aid flotilla heading to Gaza, comes in response to an appeal by the Interior Ministry over an earlier lawsuit in a lower court.

Judge Mohamed al Husseinay said: "The court asks the Ministry of Interior to present all the marriages to the cabinet to examine ... Each case should be investigated separately and with consideration to personal freedoms and the nation's security."

In the earlier lawsuit, a lawyer argued that Egyptians married to Israelis were a risk to national security because they could be spying on Egypt for Israel.

Egypt maintains strong diplomatic and economic ties with Israel since signing a peace deal 30 years ago after the two countries fought four wars, but resentment lingers among some ordinary Egyptians over Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

In February, the same court gave Egypt legal clearance to allow natural gas exports to Israel, cancelling a lower court's verdict to stop exports.

A rights activist said the ruling demonstrated mixed messages about Egypt's ties with Israel.

Negad al Borai, lawyer and a rights' activist, said: "The government is so strange. It says it is a friend of Israel... The president congratulates Israeli's president in national holidays yet it punishes the people for having relationships with Israel."

He said: "I am so surprised by the verdict. Egyptian law says citizenship can only be revoked if the citizen is proven to be spying on his country, and this verdict considers marrying an Israeli an act of spying." (Reuters)

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Mohammed 10 years ago

This is ridiculous. Reports say that Egypt will not revoke citizenship from all of the men and children who have married Israeli women- they will only do so if the women is Jewish! This is systemic religious discrimination. I am a Muslim but any reasonably educated individual would see that this is discrimination and a direct violation of human rights. It will only exacerbate the problem.

Dastagir 10 years ago

Is Egypt is capable of enforcing a law without the dictates of US and Israel? Why it is building a iron wall deep into soil on Egypt-Gaza border with US help and command? Why Egypt closed its borders with Gaza and blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza?

buks 10 years ago

Agree with Muhammad. Law is religious discrimination which Islam does not teach. More ammunition for the enemies of Islam, Freemasons and Illuminati, potraying Islam as an intolerant religion.

The Grand Master 10 years ago

Although I tend to agree with such measure, if it going to ever happen, but it is worthwhile to note that the Egyptian constitution doesn't allow government to revoke citizenship. Why I tend to agree with such measure? Because Israeli Mossad turn these marriage into espionage operations against Egypt. Instead of spreading love and brotherhood, they spread hate, suspicion, and instability. The lodge mission has been always tough with such mentality.